HANNS WELLING 'TUNDRA' VASE FOR CERAMANO
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A lovely bottle-form vase (no. 169) by Hanns Welling for CERAMANO in the relatively rare 'Tundra' decor. Alternating vertical stripes of black and yellow-green start at the mouth and end irregularly part way down the body. The base glaze is a mottled, silvery blue and gray. The dictum that no two pieces of post-war German art pottery are exactly alike is especially true of the work of CERAMANO, who always strove to blur the distinction between commercial and studio production. (Note there is a factory flaw, or possibly an old chip repair, at the base [see photo]; it does not detract from the vase's beauty and is only mentioned for the sake of clarity.)
HANNS WELLING was responsible for some of the most sophisticated output of the German art pottery manufacturers KETO, RUSCHA, and CERAMANO, among others. He served as the last's artistic director in the early 70's—otherwise little is recorded about his relationships with these firms. Many famous CERAMANO shapes and decors are ascribed to him: 'Pergamon,' 'Koralle,' 'Minerva,' 'Ceralux,' 'Tundra.' He also designed tableware and collectibles for GOEBEL PORZELLAN.
CERAMANO was the brainchild of Jakob Schwaderlapp, the founder of JASBA-KERAMIK. He established CERAMANO in 1959 with the goal of creating a market segment for the production of superior (and accordingly more expensive) artistic and experimental, handmade decorative and architectural forms alongside the more mass-produced JASBA items. Up until this time, the production of such items was restricted to small ceramic workshops, but Schwaderlapp's concept was to produce them by the consistent application of modern production methods, while replicating the look and feel of the work of individual craftsmen. When the enterprise went public with an extensive production range and a detailed advertising campaign at the ‘Frankfurter Frühjahrsmesse’ (Frankfurt Spring Fair), designer Hanns Welling was introduced as the man in charge—responsible for all shapes and decors as well as product advertising. Welling was given credit for the vision of the enterprise. He remained in charge of CERAMANO until 1962 when the position of head designer was handed over to Gerda Heuckeroth (later known for her amazing body of work at CARSTENS).
To achieve its goals, CERAMANO employed many top artists of the day, including such well-known designers as Gerda Heuckerorth and Dudas Lazslo (in addition to Welling). The items produced are generally of high quality and a varied nature; many of the higher-end pieces were completely made by hand on a potter's wheel using CERAMANO's signature reddish-brown clay. Top decors include 'Pergamon,' 'Rustica,' and 'Rubin' plus rarities such as 'Saturn,' 'Incrusta,' and 'Achat.' Bases are generally hand-marked or engraved by the decor artist with the shape number, decor name, artist's initials, and business name (space permitting). This practice enhanced the likeness of the items to studio pieces. Schwaderlapp's son and partner, Willi Schwaderlapp, took over CERAMANO in 1964 and split it off from Jasba.
[Note: Whenever there is a shape number present, it is usually a three-digit-number, sometimes followed by a second number ranging from one to six to indicate a standard size, from smallest to largest. Whether or not text is included on the base depends largely on the size of the vase. 'Handarbeit,' or Handmade, is a common engraving. Vases from later periods were provided with a paper labels.]
CERAMANO continued to develop economically with the 1970's takeovers of Waku Feuerfest and Steinzeug- und Mosaikplattenfabrik, allowing for expansion into the production of tableware and architectural tiles, respectively. Export share increased for a time, but the gambit ultimately proved unsuccessful. As the 1980's progressed, interest in art pottery began to sharply wane. CERAMANO finally closed its doors in 1989. (Jasba is still in operation, producing industrial tiles exclusively.)
Design Period – 1960-1969
Production Period – 1960-1969
Country of Origin – WEST GERMANY
Designer – HANNS WELLING
Maker – CERAMANO
Attribution – SIGNED
Materials – CERAMIC
Colors – BLUE, GRAY, YELLOW
Condition – GOOD (fully functional, but shows signs of age: scuffs, dings, faded finishes, minimal upholstery defects, and/or visible repairs)
Height (cm) – 24.0
Diameter (cm) – 7.0