Otto Gerharz

A Sampling of Pieces by Glaze Master Otto Gerharz for Ruscha Keramik (LEO Design)

Otto Gerharz was a chemist and glaze master who worked for Ruscha Keramik.  In 1951, he developed Ruscha’s famous “Vulcano” glaze, most frequently found in a burnt orange color. Along with Kurt Tschorner (who designed many of the company’s shapes), Gerharz helped make Ruscha one of the better, cutting edge production potteries of the German Modernist period.  In 1964, Gerharz left Ruscha and founded his own, much-smaller pottery , “Otto”, which employed fewer than 20 craftspeople.  Everything there was hand-made and Gerharz was responsible for most of the glazing. His son (also named Otto) took-over the workshop and runs it to this day.

Shown above, two pieces by Ruscha.  They were probably finished with glazes developed during the Otto Gerharz years.  I love the foamy, dripping glaze over the rusty-redwood underglaze.  On the right, a nice bottle vase.  Behind it and to the left, a covered canister—perfect for stashing precious possessions.



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