23 November 2015

West German, Bay Keramik Bowl

I love the textured pattern around the outside rim of this simple piece (presumably a large ashtray or perhaps just a shallow bowl), made by West German company Bay Keramik (1933-1970s). Apparently this is from quite a rare series introduced 1965, designer uncertain. There is also a jug (299) as part of this series.
Bay was one of the largest West German producers, and well known for their heavily embossed designs - although usually with more vivid use of colour than used in this example.

17 November 2015

Vintage Ceramic Crucibles

I purchased a group of vintage ceramic crucibles a few weeks ago at an auction, partly because I don't see them often, and partly because I just find them interesting display objects in their own right.

Sometimes they have been all but destroyed from repeated use, but at other times it is possible to find some in reasonable condition like these, which still have an industrial aesthetic about them.

I love the heat marks and the different colours that form on them caused by the extreme heat. They remind me a lot of Raku pottery, where the naked flame changes the colour of the clay or glaze in the final stage of firing.

Crucibles have been in use for thousands of years to melt metal or other substances at very high temperatures. They can be made of many different materials - but ones like these are made of a combination ceramic materials - similar to that used to make kiln shelves.

Some of the crucibles here are marked "Morgan, England".  Morgan was and still is a major manufacturer since 1856 of advanced ceramic products for industry.

11 November 2015

Arabia Finland, "Pallas"

A recent find. This is a pattern I haven't come across before from Arabia Finland called "Pallas".

It is very delicate china, with an equally intricate and delicate stylised floral pattern in gold. The design was from Raija Uosikkinen, and produced c1965-1970. It is not easy to see in the photo, but the sides of the cup are ribbed or scalloped - like a sea shell, which adds to the delicacy and overall feel of the design.

09 November 2015

Bitossi Spagnolo Ewer

I very nice recent auction find. This is a Bitossi "Spagnolo" design ewer vase,  designed by Aldo Londi c1963 and produced well into the 1970s. The "Erica" label on it is that of the importer in Australia who imported a range of Italian pottery, glass and decor items in the 1960s and 1970s. 

I really like the variation of this popular design...with its Moorish flourishes drawn directly into the raw textured clay, which provides such a nice contrast with the glossy yellow ochre glaze over the top of this typical Bitossi clay body.

05 November 2015

Danish Bird Sculpture - Mystery

I picked up this very cute bird sculpture a few weeks ago from a public auction. I think it is Danish or Swedish - because it was with a shipment of Danish items.  It is stoneware fired, made from a reddish terracotta type clay.

It is such a character piece, and obviously made by an accomplished potter - who is a mystery for now. It stands about 15cm tall. The glaze is clear with oxide decoration underneath. It reminds me of the work of Birte Vedel Howard who I wrote about a few weeks ago - but the style doesn't quite match hers. There is a signature on the inside - although it is practically impossible to read. Does anyone recognise this piece?

28 October 2015

Retro Italian Glassware Set

I've been meaning to photograph this great looking retro Italian glassware set for some time....It looks to be from the 1970s. I rarely buy glassware at auction as invariably I find it damaged, chipped, stained or marked in some way - but this one I couldn't resist as something eye catching and very usable for the outdoor BBQ area.  It was at a public auction earlier this year, still in its original packaging and apparently unused.

Of course, It doesn't have the quality or collectability of Scandinavian glassware, but I love the dreamy emerald green and clarity of the glass.