The Other East

East German Pitcher by Veb Lausitz with Hand-Drawn Spirals, Dots and Lines (LEO Design)

West German ceramics is interesting and collectible.  I've been buying and selling it for years.  But I still get a special thrill when I pick-up a piece of East German pottery.  And I can't help but think of the talented ceramics artists who just happened to end up on the wrong side of the daunting Berlin Wall.  It seems East German designs have a cooler, greyer, more dour-looking aesthetic than their West German cousins.  And, perhaps because East Germany was cut-off from the Modernist art world of the late Mid-Century, their interpretations seem more informed by the early Modernism at the turn of the Twentieth Century.  That puts their mindset right into my decorative sweet spot!

The piece above, made by Veb Lausitz in the 1960's, relies on graphic lines, dots and swirls—reminiscent of Austrian Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) or, perhaps, the swirling skies of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890).  And the cool grey underglaze is hand-decorated with three-dimensional applications of white and taupe tubeline painting.  It's sophisticated, though certainly not stuffy.  See it on-line by clicking on the photo above.


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