I still consider the introduction of the Ruscha shape 313 in 1954 to be the beginning of the golden age of West German pottery. The Kurt Tschörner from was elegant, whimsical, daring and a delight to the eye with its spout thrust forward and every line following that forward line. It captured everything that the post-war pottery seemed intent on doing, lifting spirits and looking forward. I’ve been pushing the 313 as an icon for over a decade, and the idea has caught on. There is, however, a problem because there are two versions of the 313.
Somewhere in the 1960s, the form was modified. Imagine someone
grabbing the top of the vase and pulling upward. The resulting “pitcher” is not only a bit taller but a bit less “forward”, less elegant, less whimsical. So why change what seemed to be one of the perfect art pottery forms? I suspect that the answer is an old one, commerce.
All of the things that made the original
313 special would almost certainly have made it difficult to produce. Several of the angles were such that they probably didn’t come out of the mold well on a regular basis. That would mean some were lost then, while others would require additional hand sanding to be worth glazing. Also, the handle was probably prone to breaking somewhere between the kiln and the store shelf.
Quite possibly, the 313 was a victim of success, and it may have been the need to produce greater quantity that required the redesign. The later version is certainly a fine form, and some of the glazes are among the best of the era, but it’s really only the original that’s the true icon in terms of form. (No word on who did the redesign.)
If you got here without going through the main site, you can get there by clicking here: ginforsodditiques.com. You’ll find more information plus items for sale…not just the usual suspects.