Sunday, November 30, 2008

With a name like “Fat Lava,” it has to be good!

(Above) West & East German Pottery: Makers Marks & Form Numbers
New book by Kevin James Graham (available July 1, 2009)
174 pages, over 300 color photographs, thousands upon thousands of form numbers, over 200 companies are contained with, with year/era of introduction plus additional designer data, written in English.

(Above) From Spritzdekor to Fat Lava
New book by Kevin James Graham.
(available July 1, 2009)
262 pages, 658 full color photographs, further 282 color marks photographs (940 in all). Details of 108 West & East German pottery makers from 1930s to 1998 are contained within, including the designers, decors with dates of introduction, includes some never seen before companies. This is the first book of its kind available in English.

(Above) Book by Mark Hill.

HERE’S SOMETHING that you will either love, or absolutely hate. I haven’t made my mind up quite yet, but I am definitely leaning towards the “hate it” side. When I first saw a collection of this pottery at the home of a well-known NY art collector who has an exquisite eye, I have to admit that I was taken back a bit. “What was this collection of kitsch doing here?” I thought to myself? It was prominently displayed in a few key places in their lovely town house. So, obviously I had to inquire about it. They told me it was West German studio ceramics from the 1960s and ’70s—affectionately called “fat lava” by collectors. It was gaudy stuff, bright colors, shapes going here and there— almost verging on butt ugly to my thinking.

What I am showing you today is the more organic stuff in the pottery line. Out of all the fat lava styles, this is the line that I like best— well, I can tolerate it without getting queasy. Believe me, if you google “fat lava” you’ll see tons of it— and then you can make up your own mind. And, btw, it’s getting kinda pricey too. I'll bet that out here in the hinterlands of the midwest you can still find it cheap at garage and estate sales, flea markets, etc. (we’re the last to know what’s cool, anyway). But hey, maybe you can be the first on your block with a collection of “fat lava” ceramics.

There’s a book out on it now, by a guy named Mark Hill (see photo), and two new books by Kevin James Graham (July 1, 2009). You can probably get an of these books on Amazon. For the real pottery, you might have luck at your local Salvation Army Thrift Store or Goodwill stores.

And, there is a free forum about fat lava, pottery and glass that is on-line. Learn more by going here.

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