CYLINDRICAL ALBERT KIESSLING STUDIO POTTERY VASE (GDR)

$250.00

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A beautiful, snow-white, cylindrical vase from the East German studio of master potter Albert Kießling. The texture left from the hand turning is obvious beneath the glaze, which presents with irregular, horizontal striations that reveal a pale, putty-colored underglaze. The interior is black. Faintly marked with the studio insignia on the base.


ALBERT KIESSLING (1909–1964) was one of the best-known East German studio potters of the Soviet Era. He first trained as a mechanical engineer before discovering a passion for ceramics. Kießling passed his master's examination following WWII and set up a studio in his hometown of Langenhessen, then within the borders of the GDR, in 1954. The small workshop, which averaged about eight employees, initially produced clay tableware—jugs and milk pots—finished with transparent glazes, but its program was soon expanded to include decorative ceramics.

Kießling became famous as a glazing specialist—equally celebrated for his virtuoso crystalline finishes and his popular, so-called, "snakeskin" shrink glazes. Both are highly collectible, especially the former. Owing to his early death in 1964, Kießling's studio only operated for a short time; its works are comparatively hard to find. Kießling was a member of the Association of Visual Artists of the former GDR.

Snakeskin is induced to shrink, or "crawl," by the addition of magnesium carbonate to low-temperature terra cotta glaze. The crawling forms islands of top-glaze, "curdling" the surface. The MgO also matts the finish of the "curds," with the in-between bare areas retaining a degree of gloss.

Kießling's daughter Gudrun (b. 1940) formed a studio of her own in Langenhessen in the early 1960s, Kunsttöpferei Unterstab (Unterstab Art Pottery, aka KTU) with her husband Ray Unterstab (b. 1937).


DETAILS

Maker – ALBERT KIESSLING

Production Period/Year – 1950s

Designer – ALBERT KIESSLING

Design Period/Year – 1950s

Origin – EAST GERMANY

Styles/Movements – MID-CENTURY MODERN

Materials – CERAMIC

Colors – WHITE, BLACK

Condition – Excellent vintage condition. The vase appears never to have been used.

Dimensions – 3 ½" DIAM. × 8" H

Quantity Available – 1