After Essen, we had to make our way South towards Worms and Speyer. Before we set off, we trundled around a few more Trödelmarkts, filling the car up even further. Once Tina was fit to bursting yet again, we began the next leg of our journey.
We spotted that our route was going to take us through Ransbach-Baumbach, a region where many WGP factories reside so decided to make a short stopover. We managed to spot a secondhand shop and bought a gorgeous German ceramic wallhanging, square with flowers which we’ve not yet identified. At four euros, it was probably a little more than we’ve already become accustomed to paying but we both felt it was worth it.
Ransbach itself is a small yet smart looking town, still home to Jasba and Jopeko factories as well as many studio potters. We had a peek inside one studio potter’s shop before heading into the town centre for an ice cream (Quark flavour!) and a sit down out of the sun.
However, the most interesting part of this journey came when we began to leave. We’d already driven past the Jasba factory when we spotted the Jopeko factory. This was more accessible from the road, so we went for what we thought would be a very quick, sneaky peek in the shop window. Luckily for us, it wasn’t as closed as we thought and we quickly found ourselves in conversation with the current owner of Jopeko.
Erika Korzilius is a very lovely woman and she very happily showed us the current things in the Jopeko showroom and told us a little about the company’s origins. Jopeko was started by Johann Peter Korzilius in 1849, the name coming from the first two letters of each of his names. At first, the factory created waterpipes, eventually moving onto Schnapps bottles. However, these went out of fashion as people began to prefer using glass containers for their spirits.
More recently, they’ve been asking artists into the factory to create pieces and some of the work was beautiful. Some ceramic stools were particularly fantastic; I’d have no hesitation buying one! Erika seemed impressed by some of the pots we’d bought and very suprised that the older Jopeko and other West German Ceramics were becoming popular in Britain. She joked that she should dust off the old moulds and start producing them again – a great idea, I think!
Onwards to Worms and Speyer and plenty more pots!