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Petra on pottery

featuring West German art pottery, Fat Lava and more 20th century ceramics

Jasba is one of the companies I actively look for when searching for interesting vases to add to my collection. Founded in 1926 by Jakob Schwaderlapp (the same man who founded Ceramano in 1959) it produced a wide range of art pottery until the end of the 1970s.

Actually, I don’t realy like their 1950s pieces. Cilli Wörsdörfer was the key designer at Jasba in this period and she made several fairly nice designs in the modernist fashion, but I don’t tend to buy these pieces. They are just a bit too sedate to my taste, with matte glazes and a held back color pallet. The other 1950s pieces are either so kitsch they make me gasp or so boring they make me dose off. There I said it. Now on with the 1960s and 70s!

Interesting times started from the 1960s onward. In 1960 Jasba started the ‘Bunte Welt der Keramik’ (=Colorful World of Ceramics) line and shiny glazes with bright colors entered the stage. Christiane Reuter took over from Cilli Wörsdörfer around this time. I think most of the vases on the picture above are part of this line, except maybe for the brown one also showing on the left. These vases with their smooth drip glazes are still quite easy to find, so I guess these must have been commercially successful and sold by the thousands. They are fun, but this small collection is more than enough to get the picture.

Beside these pieces, Jasba managed to produce a number of interesting vases with just the right combination of color, molded pattern or shape, either with a straight forward shape and a smooth and simple decor or a more complex shape, maybe with a molded pattern and exactly the right color to match. Jasba did not do a lot of lava or other textured glazes. It was a company that was especially experimental with shapes and molded patterns. The variety is really amazing and with a good Jasba vase you really have a excellent piece of West German art pottery. Leave the so-so ones alone and of course they made far too many vases to get them all right, but even the weird ones I discussed in the post about the head vase have something about them. Jasba sometimes needs looking twice.

I am going to make it my business to acquire a really nice collection of 1960s and 70s Jasba vases. Here are a few examples to start with. More to come!




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