LARGE KUCH TÖPFEREI WALL-HANGING STUDIO POTTERY FISH DÉCOR BOWL
CONTACT US HERE ABOUT THIS ITEM.
An extra-large studio pottery bowl by husband-and-wife ceramic artists Elly & Wilhelm Kuch. The wide-rimmed vessel is decorated with hand-painted leafy plants and a central fish in shades of brown, black, and aqua on a bright red, crystalline ground. It is equipped with a wire hanger for wall display and is stamped on the foot-ring with the couple’s standard studio mark.
TÖPFEREI WILHELM & ELLY KUCH began in 1947 as a workshop specializing in the production of art ceramics, with an emphasis on glazing. Founded by autodidact Wilhelm Kuch (1925–2022) in the Bavarian municipality of Burgthann, 20 km southeast of Nuremberg, it was rechristened in 1951 following Wilhelm’s marriage to potter and goldsmith Elly Hauenstein (1929–2008). As a craft-oriented studio, TÖPFEREI KUCH continually worked with apprentices and journeymen, and the range of materials and techniques employed was subject to constant expansion. Both functional and ornamental objects, produced in small series, were represented in TÖPFEREI KUCH’s manufacturing program—along with free-standing sculptural works, architectural ceramics, and tiled stoves. Since the mid-1950s, several individual pieces were created jointly by the couple. These shapes were usually up to Elly; Wilhelm was responsible for the glazes and the painterly decoration. These efforts were provided with a name stamp and the typical workshop mark. (Wilhelm passed his master craftsman’s examination in 1953.)
In 1966, the Kuchs became the first Germans to be awarded the Premio Faenza by the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenzaone in its long-standing international ceramics competition—arguably the world’s most prestigious—repeating their win in 1973. Elly Kuch represented Germany at the International Ceramic Symposium that same year at the Memphis Academy of Art, which gathered 25 artists from 13 countries. The couple’s awards included a gold medal at the Ceramics International 73 in Calgary, Alberta. The Kuch’s work is held in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen collections in Rotterdam, the International Ceramics Museum in Weiden, Germany, and the Kunstmuseum Hersbruck in Hersbruck, Germany. In 1983, the couple became founding members of Gruppe 83, a coalition of German ceramicists. TÖPFEREI KUCH remained popular until it ceased operations in 1990. Its output was exhibited across Germany with regular frequency. Elly Kuch was creating ceramics up until she died in 2008.
Elly considers her work more as forms than as sculptures. She thinks seeing different ways of working in ceramics is very important. She and her husband, Wilhelm, are now working with a gas kiln and reduction firing, which she feels is, for them, “a new beginning in ceramics.” – 1973 INTERNATIONAL CERAMIC SYMPOSIUM CATALOGUE
GRUPPE 83 was formed in 1983 when the German members of the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC) joined forces to promote ceramics as an independent art form in Germany, support German ceramic artists internationally, and encourage new artists. The secret of the group’s decades-long cohesion is undoubtedly its renunciation of a joint artistic program. Until 2013, membership in the IAC was a necessary criterion for involvement with Gruppe 83; that year, a majority decision of the group severed the link to the IAC as some younger candidates saw it as an obstacle to joining.
Maker – TÖPFEREI WILHEM UND ELLY KUCH
Production Period – 1960s
Designer – WILHELM & ELLY KUCH
Design Period – 1960s
Origin – WEST GERMANY
Styles/Movements – MID-CENTURY MODERN
Materials – CERAMIC
Colors – RED, BLACK, TEAL, BROWN
Condition – Excellent vintage condition. Minor traces of wear consistent with age and use.
Dimensions – 16" DIAM. × 2 ½" H