This stunning, five-disk Azzurro wall hanging was designed in the 1960s by ceramics master Hanns Welling for CERAMANO. The piece is fully intact, with all its original plates suspended along the original rope. The Azzurro décor is comprised of rings of glass frit, in shades ranging from aqua to dark blue, fired on a dark brown hand-thrown clay body. Made entirely by hand, no two Welling wall hangers are identical.

Vintage sets like this are difficult to source complete with all their disks, let alone in such good condition with a perfectly aged patina. The plates are all marked, and the center one is inscribed with the name of the décor and the maker as well. Including the rope, the total length is approximately 36"; the disks vary in diameter from 3 ⅝" up to 6 ⅝" and have a thickness of about ¾". This would be an excellent addition to any mid-century modern ceramics collection.

CERAMANO was the brainchild of Jakob Schwaderlapp, the founder of Jasba Keramik. He set up the sister company in 1959 to produce high-end ceramics that would complement Jasba’s mass-produced lines and respond to the growing demand for innovation in the decorative arts. The manufacture of more artistic and experimental items had hitherto been the province of small workshops; Schwaderlapp had the idea to replicate the look and feel and the creativity of artisanal work using modern factory methods. CERAMANO went public with the debut of an extensive product range at the Frankfurt Trade Fair. The celebrated Hanns Welling was introduced as the man in charge—responsible for the company’s marketing as well as for all of its shapes and décors (glaze and pattern combinations). Welling remained at the helm until 1962 when the position of head designer was handed off to Gerda Heuckeroth, later known for her amazing body of work at Carstens.

To achieve its goals, CERAMANO employed many of the top ceramic artists of the day, notably (in addition to Welling and Heuckeroth) the Hungarian designer Dudas Laszlo. Unsurprisingly, the items it produced were generally of high quality and varied nature. Many of the more expensive pieces were completely handmade on a wheel; most vases were built using the company’s signature reddish-brown clay. Compared with other German ceramics firms, an unusual amount is known about the décors of CERAMANO owing to its practice of listing their names on vessel bottoms. Top décors include Rubin, Toscana, Stromboli, and Pergamon, plus rarities like Saturn, Achat, and Incrusta. Along with the décor name, bases were generally engraved (by the décor artist) with the model number and the artist’s initials. This practice enhanced the “studio” semblance of CERAMANO’s pieces. Willi Schwaderlapp, Jakob’s son and partner, took over the company in 1964, after which it was split off from Jasba entirely.

Note: CERAMANO’s shape numbers usually have three digits. They are sometimes followed by a slash (virgule) and a second number, ranging from one to six, that denotes the piece’s relative size. Whether or not and how much text is included on the base seems to depend on the size of the vessel in most cases. “Handarbeit” (handmade) is also a common marking. Vases from later periods were provided with paper labels.

CERAMANO continued to develop economically with the takeovers of Waku Feuerfest and Steinzeug und Mosaikplattenfabrik in the 1970s, which allowed for expansion into the production of, respectively, tableware and architectural tiles. The company’s export share slowly increased for a time, but CERAMANO’s gambit ultimately proved unsuccessful. As the 1980s progressed, interest in art pottery waned sharply. CERAMANO finally closed its doors in 1989. (Jasba is still in operation, producing industrial tiles exclusively.)


  • Hanns Welling, 1959–1961
  • Gerda Heuckeroth, 1962–1964
  • Dudas Laszlo, 1960s

HANNS WELLING (1924-?) was responsible for some of the most inspired post-war German art-pottery designs ever produced. Born in 1924, his studies in painting and graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf commenced when he was seventeen, but were interrupted after only two semesters by military service. Following his 1947 discharge, he resumed his academic pursuits, and, after further training abroad in France and Italy, he graduated in 1951. The next year Welling joined the Kettiger Clay Works (aka Keto) in Lantershofen, south of Bonn, and assumed leadership of its newly established art department. He took over the creation of Keto’s engobe ceramics, with their incised decorations and colorful inlays.

Welling left Keto in 1956 for a short stint at Ruscha Keramik in nearby Rheinbach—as a décor designer and head of the painting department. Two years later he received an offer from Jakob Schwaderlapp, the owner of Jasba Keramik. He was tasked with the establishment of a new ceramic company that was to focus exclusively on the manufacture of high-quality products with a handcrafted aspect. The program of the company was presented in 1959 under the brand name Ceramano. In addition to shapes and décors, Welling was responsible for the firm’s external presentation (catalogs, advertising photos, exhibition stands, etc.). This level of involvement in the nuts-and-bolts development of the entire character of a ceramics factory was unique in the industry. Many famous Ceramano décors are ascribed to Welling: Pergamon, Koralle, Minerva, Ceralux, Tundra. He retired from Ceramano in 1961 but continued to provide it with designs as a freelancer well into the 1970s.

Welling is a designer of international standing in all material and application areas of his field. Among his diverse contributions to German ceramics were designs for the makers Cortendorf, Schloßberg, W. Goebel-Porzellanfabrik, Steingutfabrik Staffel, Hutschenreuther, and Rosenthal, as well as a twelve-year collaboration with the Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin.



Production Period/Year – 1960s


Design Period/Year – 1960s



Materials – CERAMIC, ROPE

Colors – BLUE, AQUA

Condition – Excellent vintage condition. May show minor signs of previous use.

Dimensions – 6 ⅝" W × ¾" D × 36" H

Quantity Available – 1