A beautiful mid century studio pottery ball vase with a pinched lip and hand applied decor in bluish gray and black by renowned German ceramicist Fritz Hudler.

FRIEDRICH 'FRITZ' HUDLER (1889-1982) was a German graphic artist, sculptor and ceramicist who completed his ceramics studies in 1920 at the Landshut Ceramic Technical School after returning to Germany from French captivity during WWI.  While at Landshut, he met the artist Maria Margarethe Wilke (1893-1961) who, after studying at various other arts and crafts schools, passed her master’s examination at the ceramic technical school in Landshut.  The couple married in 1921 and began their professional ceramics activities in a small leased studio space they would soon outgrow.  In 1926 they moved the operation into a workshop of their own in the municipality of Diessen upon Ammersee and named the new enterprise “Keramische Werkstätte F. Hudler.”

When the workshop was founded, the Hudler’s were able to build on the great interest generated by the new field of Art Pottery in response to the decline of the handicrafts movement during the imperial period on the one hand and the rise of industrial mass production on the other.  The Hudler workshop's varied product range in the interwar period included art ceramics such as hand painted containers, dishes, tiles, vases, figurines, and utility ceramics, as well as - to a lesser extent - figurative works in faience. The forms and decors were mainly designed by Friedrich Hudler.  Maria Hudler contributed the tiles, which were particularly popular in the 1940s and were often signed by her.  After the war, tea sets were added, and in the 1950s, in addition to the tiles, which were still in demand, the painted decorative wall plates and panels also proved to be extremely successful.  Almost without exception, the works were provided with a monogram first applied with a brush, later stamped or embossed, often with a model number.  In addition to his design activities, Fritz also experimented intensively with luster and running glazes.

From 1925, the Hudlers were represented at the Leipzig trade fair and contracted with Richard Uhlemeyer’s wholesale company Handelsunternehmen für Handwerk und Folk Kunst (the Trading Company for Handicrafts and Folk Art) in Hanover to distribute their pottery all over Europe.  This relationship helped them to become widely known beyond the regional area, and business boomed.  These extraordinarily favorable developments made it necessary to expand the company for the first time in 1933 and then again four years later. In the years that followed, the workshop was often represented at national and international exhibitions and received several awards, such as a gold medal in 1937 at the “Exposition des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne" in Paris. After the inevitable decline during WWII, the workshop entered the post war years by regularly participating in sales fairs again since the 1950s, including in Frankfurt. The positive course of business led to another expansion, so that the number of employees increased to about 20 by the middle of the decade.

Fritz Hudler’s work spanned two wars and he is well known in Germany. He is just becoming known in America along with the other great German potters who rose out of the ashes of World War II and exploded with energy and talent, His workshop pieces are signed FH and stamped with a model number.  In 1974 the Hudler’s daughter Sibylle (born 1928) and her husband Rudolf Beckert took over the business and continued it as "Ceramic Hudler-Beckert".  The workshop was downsized in 1984, but it remains in operation to this day, and has been managed by the Hudler’s granddaughter Gabriele Buchner since 1994. 

Designer Fritz Hudler
Manufacturer Fritz Hudler
Design Period 1950 to 1959
Production Period 1950 to 1959
Country of Manufacture Germany
Identifying Marks This piece has an attribution mark
Style Vintage, Mid-Century, Hand-Crafted, Minimalist, Modernist
Detailed Condition Excellent — This vintage piece is in near original condition. It may show minimal traces of use and/or have slight restorations.
Product Code
Materials Ceramic
Color Grey, black
Width 4.5 inch
Depth 4.5 inch
Height 3.8 inch
Quantity Available – 0