This smallish vase—perfect for a stem or three—reminds me of a heavily clouded winter sky. Tightly-packed, fluffy clouds allow a bit of icy blue to peek-through. Or, perhaps, it looks like compressed ice on the surface of a frozen pond. As the water freezes and melts and freezes again, a dappled, irregular pattern emerges. The piece was made by Jopeko in West Germany in the Sixties or Seventies.
Jopeko began its life, under a different name, in the mid-Nineteenth Century. Like so many Twentieth Century potteries, its earliest output was "sanitary ware"—pipes, crocks, kitchenware and water coolers—not fancy decorative objets. But, after World War II, Germany (and Japan, another "vanquished" country) found that it had a large labor force to put back to work. Labor in Germany was inexpensive (compared to that of the "victor" countries) and, thus, labor-intensive industries, like pottery, moved from places like American and England to Germany and Japan. American potteries struggled and closed while German (and Japanese) ceramics factories boomed, making affordable and stylish decorative items for a war-weary middle class.
The end of WWII coincided with the fresh, new look of Modernism. And such Modernist pottery hit just the right note with a populace hunting for the next exciting thing. Germany, with its long history of artistic innovation, promoted new designers and technology which would be at the forefront of popular style.
This Jopeko vase will look just right standing before a color-group collection of ceramics. Or, nestled into that tight little spot that needs a little something. Click on the photo to learn more about it.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248