A lovely hand thrown klinker pottery vase with a geometric sgraffito decor by master potter Johannes-Andreas Urban of Friedrichroda, Germany.  The decor appears to have been achieved through the application of a horizontally striated band of a lighter colored slip to the dark brown clay, which has then been precisely scratched away to re-reveal the dark clay body beneath it.

JOHANNES-ANDREAS URBAN is/was a master potter who opened a workshop in the middle part of the 20th century in the small German town of Friedrichroda which is located in the northwestern part of the Thuringian Forest.  When Germany was partitioned after WWII, all of Thuringia, including Friedrichroda, came under Soviet control, and while I have done my best to find any information at all about the workshop of Johannes-Andreas Urban, all i have found is that there are indications that it may still exist.  As is the case with many of the group of potters who started their careers in the early years of the GDR, information is scarce, but luckily their work often speaks for itself.  Some day there will be an exhaustive study of these extremely talented artists working in the shadow of the iron curtain, but for now we can appreciate the beautiful products of their labor.

KLINKER POTTERY is made from a native red or brown clay that was otherwise employed in the production of a particular sort of partially-vitrified bricks, commonly referred to as "klinkers"—so called for the metallic sound they make when struck together. Like the namesake bricks, klinker pottery is hard-fired at very high temperatures. In addition to being hand-thrown, it's usually also burnished and decorated by hand, and only partially glazed if at all. The production methods tend to make these items very water-resistant, and in most cases, waterproof, even without an interior glaze. The Krupps marketed their products under the name "Krupp-Klinker." (Incidentally, being denser than normal bricks, Klinker bricks provide relatively poor insulation. On the other hand their hard surfaces make them frost-resistant, so they are well-suited for use in facades and as pavers.)


Design Period 1950 to 1959
Production Period Unknown
Country of Manufacture Germany
Identifying Marks This piece has an attribution mark
Style Vintage, Mid-Century, Hand-Crafted, Minimalist, Modernist, Rustic
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 Earthenware
Color Brown
Width 3.5 inch
Depth 3.5 inch
Height 6.0 inch
Quantity Available – 1