At some point this weekend, we’re going to decide which of the mammoth haul of pots we’re going to keep. This is going to be difficult: we like different ones and there are just so many to choose from; you can always see something of merit in each pot. We’re both decided on keeping these two though:
‘Otto Keramik’ was founded by Otto Gerhauz in 1964. Previously, he had been the arts director at Ruscha, but as a slight obsessive about glazes; he left to set up a workshop at his house to research glazes. Until 1996, all of the glazes produced with by Otto. He teamed up with Kurt Tschörner (who designed the famous ‘313’ at Ruscha), who produced the shapes at Otto until 1987.
Compared to Scheurich and Bay, Otto Keramik was a very small company; employing a maximum of twenty employees. Because of this items were not mass produced. This could be why their pots are quite desirable – they really are unique. In 1994, Otto’s son – called Otto – took over the company. When Ruscha closed in 1996. The company took over some of their old designs.
One of the most obvious ways to identify an Otto piece is to look at the base: all of the bases of items were covered in felt. Beneath this, the clay is white, flat and sans numbers. Some of the more modern items that are still in production today have numbers on the base and are not always covered in felt.
More information and pictures of pottery, as always, can be found at the Pottery and Glass Forum.
- Otto Keramik.de – current website for company
- Kurt Tschörner shapes at Ginsforodditiques
- Search for Otto Keramik on Ebay
- Few Otto bits and bobs at Ginsfor again