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Petra on pottery

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

My Atelier Van Eyk collection has been substantially enlarged with a recent find of a 27 piece service. For sure I now have the largest online collection by this potters duo. Hardly anything ever comes up on google, ebay or where ever, so I think this is not being presumptuous.

The service was beautifully made. Like the other two pieces I featured in earlier posts, these are terra sigillata dating from 1950. On the bottom of the coffee pot it is signed “Handmade Holland Van Eyk” (see picture at the bottom of this post). The service is quite modern in its appearance, functional and to the point. The decoration is of a nice simplicity and the whole set looks very unpretentious and effortless. The pieces feel very nice when you handle them. You can tell they were designed with their future user in mind, each piece fitting nicely into your hands and pleasant to the touch.

Despite of its modern simplicity, undoubtedly influenced by the Bauhaus design philosophy (planning to getting back to that in a later post), the service has a certain sweetness about it.  It has a perfectly smooth surface, decorated with all these little dots which are about the same size and equally spaced right around the pieces. Notice the single dot on the top end of the handle of the little sugar spoon (see picture at the top of the post). The shapes are super basic and nicely proportioned, emphasizing and echoing the simple circular shape throughout the whole set. Also there is this nice balance between the white glazed surfaces and the red terra sigillata. It all fits perfectly and so much care seems to have been put in the design and execution of this service.

I think this is the special thing about handmade pottery as apposed to industrial pottery. Anton and Dorothea van Eyk actually made these pieces themselves. In all these subtle ways you can catch a glimpse of their spirit through the work of their minds and hands. The service shows such an artistic sensitivity and beauty in its simplicity, I absolutely love it.

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