CARSTENS TÖNNIESHOF 'ATELIER' SERIES 1 VASE 7713/20
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A textural 'Atelier' series 1 vase dating from the early 60's and produced by CARSTENS TÖNNIESHOF. Vertical brown ribs stand in relief to a bubbly beige-and-brown lava glaze designed by Gerda Heuckeroth. Marked 7713/20. (Many forms in the first 'Atelier' series were the creations of the prolific designer, Heinz Siery.)
GERDA HEUCKEROTH began work in pottery with an apprenticeship under the renowned ceramist Siegfried Möller and studies at the Kunsthochschule in Bremen. In 1939 she showed her first pieces at the Grassi Museum in Leipzig. A year and a half later she became the artistic director at Carstens-Uffrect KG in Neuhaldensleben and soon took over management of the group's Hubbe branch. During WWII Heuckeroth set up a workshop in her home in Hamburg-Blankenese. Following the war, she worked for several companies in the ceramics industry as a designer of both forms and decors—among them the earthenware factories Grünstadt, Villeroy & Boch, and the Koninkliijk Plateelbakkerij Zuid Holland in Gouda. Heuckeroth became artistic director of Ruscha in 1959 when Hanns Welling left that company and succeeded him again in 1962 as the senior designer for Ceramano. In 1964 she moved to CARSTENS as head of the Atelier Keramik department, producing a great number of outstanding designs which have, along with much of her early work, become highly sought-after by a new generation of avid collectors. Eventually retiring from industry, she worked as a freelance ceramist out of her studio in Hamburg-Blankenese. Heuckeroth's work has received numerous awards and prizes over the years at national and international exhibitions.
CARSTENS TÖNNIESHOF was founded by Ernst Carstens and his son Christian in 1946. The family had had a long history of manufacturing ceramics and porcelain in Germany, but by the end of WWII the businesses had all collapsed; most of the factories were expropriated by the DDR. Father and son built the new Tönnieshof factory on a farm of that name in Fredelsloh in Lower Saxony. Production of table ceramics started in 1947; the first known decorative pieces date from the early 50's. Ernst's wife Trude Carstens served as artistic director until her death in 1965.
CARSTENS TÖNNIESHOFF was very successful, producing a wide range of shapes and glazes. The Luxus and Atelier ranges were more expensive lines and sold in large department stores—the latter, launched in 1962, was created by Gerda Heuckeroth. Helmut Scholtis introduced the very successful Ankara decor in 1963 during his tenure with CARSTENS; an example of the 'wax resist' technique, it was used on many forms. Lava glazes were also employed during the second half of the 60's. Its distinguished roster of designers also included Heinz Siery, Rudolph Christmann, and Dieter Peter. CARSTENS TÖNNIESHOF went bankrupt in 1977.
Design Period – 1960-1969
Country of Origin – WEST GERMANY
Designer – GERDA HEUCKEROTH (1917-1993)
Maker – CARSTENS TÖNNIESHOF
Attribution – MARKED
Materials – CERAMIC
Colors – TAN, BROWN
Condition – VERY GOOD (no defects; may show slight traces of use)
Height (cm) – 20.0
Diameter (cm) – 13.0