Paul Dresler is considered one of the most important ceramicists between the wars. He was born in Siegen, Germany in 1879 and, as a boy, planned to be a painter. On a visit to Munich in 1910, Dresler saw an exhibit of Islamic ceramics—an experience which proved to be a turning-point in the artist’s life. The shapes, colors, glazes and hand-decorated embellishments captured his fancy and the course of his life was altered. By 1913, he had set-up a pottery workshop in Groot Castle (in Krefeld, Germany—not far from the border with The Netherlands). His original Middle Eastern inspiration was supplemented with a Japanese influence—which may explain Dresler’s frequent use of a crackled, Raku-like finish in many of his pieces. This crackling was caused by a special cooling process by which the glaze and the underlying ceramic cool at different rates. Dresser also used copper in many of his glazes, creating a green “verdigris” effect which became a signature characteristic in his pieces. In 1937, Paul Dresler was awarded the Gold Medal and Gran Prix at the World Exhibition in Paris.
The piece above, was designed shortly before Dresler died in 1950. It was likely produced in Krefeld shortly after his death. Please click on the photo to learn more about it.
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