West German Pottery: Otto Keramik For Sale

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Otto Keramik vase Gin-For's Odditiques
                    with Forrest, Berlioz, and West German Pottery Bay Keramik Glaze Detail

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Otto Keramik

This is smaller version of this form from Otto Keramik and the harder one to find, especially with this fascinating and varied purple glaze, more evidence that Otto Gerharz Sr. was a glaze master.

Otto Keramik small jug with purple glaze Otto Keramik small jug with purple glaze, bottom photo

Price: $125 plus shipping and insurance. Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote. Size: Height is about 4 1/4" and max diameter about 3". Condition: very good with a couple of minor, hard to find flakes...pictured. All sales are fully guaranteed.

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Although the form is a well-known Otto Keramik shape, this is an unusual example both in size and glaze. The glaze is primarily black on black, matte and semi-matte, which makes the varied texture of the drip quite subtle. For a bit of color, there's a red underglaze that shows through mostly at the shoulder and neck, some gloss, some more matte. While not the bold style often associated with W. German work, the subtle control of the glaze is very much in keeping with work by Otto Gerharz. It's a quietly strong piece and has the felt bottom to be expected on Otto items.

Otto Keramik Tall Jug, black and red glaze Otto Keramik Tall Jug, black and red glaze, bottom photo, West German pottery

Price: $250 plus shipping and insurance. Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote. Size: Height is about 13". Condition: excellent with no damage, no repairs...fully guaranteed.

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This is a known, though not common, Otto glaze, and the bottom has the felt typical of Otto, but I have not seen this shape before. It is, not surprisingly quite well done. The flattened opening gives it a mid century modern look, not quite a UFO form but a mix between UFO and traditional. Glaze isn't fat lava in my opinion but is slightly "thick", not fat, just a bit overweight.

Otto Keramik Vase, Red and Black Glaze Otto Keramik Vase, Red and Black Glaze, bottom photo

Price: $95 plus shipping and insurance. Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote. Size: Height is about 5 1/4" with a diameter of about 3 1/2". Condition: very good with just a tiny glaze flake (pictured)...all sales are fully guaranteed.

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This West German pottery vase is a classic mid century form and glaze from Otto Keramik. The studio was owned by Otto Gerharz, and he did the glaze work while Kurt Tschörner designed most of the forms. That put two of the best in their fields working closely together, and the results were excellent. This version features a difficult glaze to describe. The color is light lavender with subtle variations in shade flowing throughout. The interior glaze is a perfectly contrasting yellow. It's an excellent example of an uncommon glaze.

Otto Keramik Mid Century Modern Vase Otto Keramik Mid Century Modern Vase, bottom photo

Price: $135 plus shipping and insurance. Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote. Size: Height is about 6 1/2". Condition: excellent with no damage, no repairs...fully guaranteed.

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This ball vase was made by Otto Keramik. Glazes were done by Otto Gerharz, and forms were by Kurt Tschörner, two masters working closely with great results. This mauve and gray glaze was done in both this matte or satin version and in gloss. Estimate on the date is 1970s.

Otto Keramik Ball Vase Otto Keramik Ball Vase, bottom photo

Price: $50 plus shipping and insurance. Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote. Size: Height is about 8". Condition: Excellent with no damage and no repairs. All sales are fully guaranteed.

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We have a small jug in this glaze (unusual size), and now we have this taller version in one of Otto's other jug forms. It's simply a fascinating glaze, and if you like purple, it's marvelous with assorted shades of purple and gray. The brighter purple areas are also raised, creating additional textural interest. Otto Gerharz was simply one of the glaze geniuses of the 20th century. We also have this same form in a very hard to find taller version with a red and black glaze that probably deserves to be called Brutalist.

Otto Keramik Jug with Purple Glaze Otto Keramik Jug with Purple Glaze, base photo

Price: $225 plus shipping and insurance. Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote. Size: Height is about 9 1/4". Condition: excellent with no damage and no repairs. All sales are fully guaranteed.

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Otto Keramik definitely did numerous variations on bottle and jug forms, especially jugs, so this shape is not difficult to find. However, as with most Otto forms, the proportions are good, making a simple form surprisingly attractive. The glaze is easy to overlook simply because it's gray, but don't be fooled by that. It's a quietly complex, enjoyable glaze, as with many of the often uncommon, currently lesser known Otto glazes. As with many Otto glazes, the "decoration" includes glaze "fissures". As a side note, some of the West German pottery "jug" forms appear to be based on ancient Greek pottery, as are some other shapes, but just why they were so fond of such shapes remains unclear.

Otto Keramik Jug, gray glaze Otto Keramik Jug, gray glaze, bottom photo Price: $85 plus shipping and insurance. Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote. Size: Height is about 5 1/2". Condition: excellent with no damage, no repairs...fully guaranteed.

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This jug was made by Otto Keramik. Glazes were designed by owner Otto Gerharz, while most shapes were designed by Kurt TschUorner, putting two top designers in close collaboration with great results. This is the gloss version of this pink/mauve and gray glaze, which was also done in a satin or semi-matte version. The "typewriter" label was the first label style used, this is a relatively early piece, say late1960s.

Otto Keramik Jug, pink, lavender glaze Otto Keramik Jug, pink, lavender glaze

Price: $75 plus shipping and insurance. Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote. Size: Height is about 6". Condition: excellent with no damage, no repairs...fully guaranteed.

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This simple, squat jug has become a favorite Otto form for me, and they certainly did a variety of jug forms. This appears to be one that's available in a wide variety of glazes, many of which are fairly difficult to find. This has a thick red drip over a mottled gray with white specks. The glaze name may be "granite" (spelled granat or granit in German). Otto currently makes a red over white drip with that name, but I can't confirm that this was an earlier version with the same name. Such was suggested to me several years ago, but I haven't found confirmation. Of course, that doesn't affect the aesthetics, only the language. With or without a glaze name, it's a very strong piece.

Otto Keramik jug, Granit glaze Otto Keramik jug, Granit glaze, bottom photo

Price: $115 plus shipping and insurance. Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote. Size: Height is about 6" with a diameter of about 4 1/2". Condition: excellent with no damage, no repairs...fully guaranteed.

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Otto Keramik definitely did numerous variations on bottle and jug forms, especially jugs, Otto Keramik made this form with and without a handle, as W. German pottery companies often liked to do. The form is simple but well-proportioned. The glaze is complex in very subtle ways, something Otto Gerharz did just as well as he did creating the overtly striking volcanic glazes, some of the best fat lava made. This vase is a bit unusual because the base is concave rather than flat, but such is not unknown with Otto, just unusual. You can also see the remains of the early Otto label, just glue residue.

Otto Keramik bottle vase, brown glaze Otto Keramik bottle vase, brown glaze photo

Price: $60 plus shipping and insurance. Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote. Size: Height is about 6". Condition: excellent with no damage and no repairs.

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Otto Keramik definitely did numerous variations on bottle and jug forms, especially jugs, so this shape is not difficult to find. The glaze itself isn't overly uncommon for that matter, but the trick is finding the ones that turned out best. I think that this is one of those, with good variation and coloring. (Some seem to turn out too "flat".) As a side note, some of the West German pottery "jug" forms appear to be based on ancient Greek pottery, as are some other shapes, but just why they were so fond of such shapes remains unclear.

Lausitzer vase, attributed otto.keramik.talljug.green, bottom photo

Price: $65 plus shipping and insurance. Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote. Size: Height is about 6". Condition: excellent with no damage and no repairs.

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This squat jug form is from Otto Keramik. Glazes were done by Otto Gerharz, while most forms were by Kurt Tschörner, a great team. This jug features a blue underglaze with a thick, flowing blue and white drip, although I wouldn't consider it thick enough to put it into the fat lava category. Still, it's uncommon and interesting with subtle touches, the kind of glaze you should expect from Gerharz, a glaze master.

Otto Keramik squat jug, blue and white glaze Otto Keramik squat jug, blue and white glaze, bottom photo

Price: $85 plus shipping and insurance. Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote. Size: Height is about 5 1/2". Condition: excellent with no damage and no repairs.

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This classic mid-century shape was produced at the Otto Keramik studio with the glaze by Otto Gerharz and form by Kurt Tschörner. The glaze is a soft gray and white with the incised lines that were popular at the time. The bottom has the typical felt, and if you went to all the trouble of removing it, all you'd find is a white base.

Otto Keramik Gray and White Vase Otto Keramik Gray and White Vase, bottom photo

Price: $65 plus shipping and insurance. Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote. Size: Height about 9 3/4" and diameter about 6". Condition: very good, but it has picked up a minor flake on the base, that I need to photograph. Since the clay color is similar to the glaze, it doesn't affect aesthetics much at all. All sales are fully guaranteed.

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Buying, Paying, and Such Things

You may notice that we don't have a checkout where you can just click for your goodies without so much as saying hello. Well, we want people to say hello, ask questions, even hope for a better deal. Long ago, I told stories for 7 hours (free refills on coffee), so "impersonal" just isn't my style. Click on one of those "E-mail" buttons. I can't handle as much coffee as I used to, so the stories will be fewer.

These days, Paypal is about the easiest payment method around, but we still take checks, even cash. No Monopoly money, nothing printed up in your basement, no chickens, etc., but otherwise we're fairly flexible. If we can put it in the bank without anyone getting in a tizzy, we'll probably take it.

Please take time to stroll through the site. Sorry we can't offer you a cup of coffee or tea while you're looking, but maybe you can take care of that yourself. Just don't spill it on the keyboard. And if you run into any questions along the way, there should be an e-mail link on every page, so just click and ask.

Hope you'll enjoy our "sing the body eclectic" approach (with apologies to Walt Whitman). As always, proceeds go to support our creditors, my spouse, our cats, my auction addiction, and the plumbing project that never ends.

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