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26 March 14

In Orbit

'Burleigh in Orbit' blog post banner

vintage orange Burleigh Orbit cup & saucer | H is for Home

Wow!! How about this for an eye-popping bit of orange Op Art loveliness?

vintage orange Burleigh Orbit cup maker's mark | H is for Home

This cup & saucer is from the Orbit range produced by Burleigh in the 1960s. It’s superb and quite uncharacteristic of their usual output which is normally very traditional. Someone must have had a rush of blood to the head (or taken LSD) that week. It’s quite a rare pattern and doesn’t appear for sale often.

vintage orange Burleigh Orbit cup & saucer with sugar lumps | H is for Home

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25 January 14

Charity Vintage: Stavangerflint Flamingo dish


(ends 20 Feb 13:19)

We love vintage Scandinavian pottery chez H is for Home. We buy, sell &…

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20 October 13

Retro Magazine

This copy of Retro Magazinearrived last week. It was sent by the lovely people at Hus & Hem as…

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31 August 13

Charity Vintage: Jie Gantofta biscuit jar


(ends 2 Sep, 2013 20:27:39 BST)

We’ve long admired Anita Nylund’s designs for Jie Gantofta.…

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22 February 12

Bowled over by Stig!

large vintage bowl designed & decorated by Stig Lindberg for Gustavsberg of Sweden

We’re saying a fond farewell to our gorgeous Stig Lindberg bowl in a few days. We bought it last year at auction and despite it being very tempting to keep hold of these items indefinitely, we have to make a living. So it’s up for sale!

detail from large vintage bowl designed & decorated by Stig Lindberg for Gustavsberg of Sweden

It’s a stunning piece with blue band and black zig-zag design - hand decorated by Stig Lindberg for Gustavsberg of Sweden in the 1950s. Fully marked to the base with the artist’s distinctive markings.

detail from large vintage bowl designed & decorated by Stig Lindberg for Gustavsberg of Sweden

We put most items on our own website, but we’ve decided to list this one on eBay. There are avid collectors of Scandinavian pottery from this era - and Stig Lindberg-designed examples in particular. It will reach a wide audience for collectors worldwide who are searching for him by name. If you’re a fellow fan, there’s still 4 days left of the auction.

We’ve enjoyed living with it for a while, but it’s just got a bid… so it looks like goodbye!

8 April 11

Friday Folks - Kevin James Graham

H is for Home

selection of 'Fat Lava' East & West German pottery belonging to Kevin Graham

This edition of Friday Folks features Kevin Graham. We came across him online a few years ago when we were trying to find more details about some of the ceramic items that we’d been accumulating for our shop. Kevin is one of the founding members & admins of the online Pottery and Glass Forum - a group full of very friendly & extremely knowledgeable people from all around the world. You can also find him endeavouring to spread the Fat Lava love around the virtual world via Twitter and Flickr

Who are you & what do you do?
I am Kevin James Graham. I am a researcher & Author on factual books on West/East German pottery. To date I have written Spritzdecor to Fat Lava (hardback), and West & East German Pottery Marks & Form Numbers (hardback). Both limited edition books which came out in July 2009 with only 250 copies of each.

photo of Kevin James Graham

Since the publication of these two hardcover books, I switched to CD as a medium and introduced Spritzdecor to Fat Lava Book/CD and West & East German Pottery, Marks & Form numbers Volume II (which contained over 3500 more numbers than the original book). These came out in January 2010.

In November 2010 I released Spritzdecor to Fat Lava II on CD which contained 32 more companies than the original hardback book & CD, and an additional number of designer profiles bringing the total to 48. At the same time, I released the greatly updated West & East German Pottery, Marks, Form Numbers & Decors Volume III which contained over 2800 new form numbers, including a huge section on Art Deco, with the aid of Volker Hornbostel, a collector of pieces from this period. In addition, a new Decors section was added, with pictures of the known decors of Alka Kunst, Bay Keramik, Bückeberg, Carstens Tönnieshof, Ceramano, Conradt (Gebruder), Cortendorf, Dümler & Breiden, Eiwa, ES-Keramik, Fohr Keramik, Ilkra Keramik, Jasba, Jopeko, Keto, Kupfermuhle Keramik (KMK), Marzi & Remy, Ruscha, Scheurich, Schlossberg, Schramberg (SMF), Stutzel Sachs Wächtersbach, etc.

pair of Fat Lava floor vases

Other additions to this CD included studio marks & porcelain marks sections. This CD covers the period 1900 to 2000, for form numbers. Also inside this CD is information on who designed the famous Hearts motif pieces for Wächtersbach and when.

Also within is the answer to the 5 WGP companies that had LAVA as a known decor. Of course, the work on both the form numbers & decors is ongoing as, since publishing this extensive CD, I have found new catalogues from Carstens Tönnieshof, Ceramano Fohr, Marzi & Remy, Ruscha, Roth & Ü-Keramik - so next year, a Volume/Edition 4 will be issued.

Fat Lava reference cds compiled & produced by Kevin James Graham

Other publications that I will launch this year are a Ceramano bookalogue to be released for the More Than Fat Lava Mid Century & Modern German Ceramics Exhibition happening in Amsterdam from 18 June 2011 in conjunction with Emiel Monnink from Retrominded. This exhibition will be opened by my friend Mark Hill.

Bauhaus Generated (German Atelier/Töpferei/Studio Pottery) 1920s to 2000 which contains the profiles of leading potters - who trained them, start date, marks etc with over 300 colour photographs. Over 700 potters are identified in this publication.

Studio potters include Antal (Bandi), Heiner (Balzar), Bampi (Richard), Bisang (Liselot) Bomblies (Eva), Bontjes van Beek (Jan), Böttger (Inge), Brügemman (Antje), Busz (Ralf), Crumbiegel (Dieter), Claussen (Michael), Doss (Antje & Rainer), Dudas (Laszlo), Eggemann (Hildegard), Frey (Harro), Gerhards (Walter), Gramman (Siegfrid), Harney (Else), Heuckeroth (Gerda), Hillers (Ulfert), Hohlt (Albrecht & Georg), Hudler (Friedrich), Kagel (Wilhelm), Kerstan (Horst), Kiessling (Albert). Klopfer (Lu), Kuch (Wilhelm & Elly), Kuhn (Beate), Kummer (Thomas), Lang (Anton) Laeuger (Max), Langelot (IB), Liebenthron (Gerhard), Lindig (Otto), Loesche (Ernst), Maetzel (Monica), Meier (Otto), Mühlendyck (Wim), Piesche (Anton), Schäffenacker (Helmut), Scheid (Ursula & Karl), Stahl (Rudi), Stahl (Wendelin), Stehr (Barbara), Uhlemeyer (Richard), Unterstab (Kerstin, Gudrun & Ralf), Weber (Rolf), Wichmann (Otto). The foreword to this publication will be written by Mark Hill.

pair of purple vintage Roth Fat Lava vases

How did you get into the business?
By accident! In 2001 I found a Fat Lava Bay Keramik piece in a charity shop in Chard, Somerset - I started to collect later. In 2004, after meeting my wife Esther, I moved to North Germany. I found a treasure trove of West & East German pottery. My collection, which up to that point was only 200 pieces, grew rapidly. However, very little was known then about this pottery. I started to catalogue the form numbers and after several discussions with my friend in the USA, Forrest Poston, I decided to write a book. Research on Spritzdecor to Fat Lava & West & East German Pottery Marks & Form Numbers started in 2004. The only book available at that time was 50er Jahre Keramik by Dr Horst Makus, only in German, and didn’t cover most of the items I was interested in. In 2006, a new book came out (only in German), by Dr Michael Thomas entitled Deusche Keramik und Porzellan der 60er und 70er Jahre, which is an excellent book. I still collect today, my WGP/EGP pieces have exceeded 21,000. I know it sounds a lot, but Michael Thomas has nearly 10,000 more!

red vintage Fat Lava vase

Who or what inspires you?
This is a difficult one, I have several people who inspire me to write more, these include Mark Hill, Michael Thomas, Cari Zalloni, Stuart Brownrigg, Stuart Gunning, Emiel Monnink to name a few.

vintage Greman potter bird figure

What has been your greatest success?
Again, difficult to think of just one thing. Work wise, writing the two original books which actually started life as a single book, but the printer I used was unable to bind such a large book so it became two.

trio of vintage 1950s Fat Lava vases

Have you got any advice for someone wanting to break into the business?
Hmmmmm… make sure your workplace is quiet, has no telephone, make sure you back up your data - every day and make sure your research is sound. I don’t think of writing my books as a business, more of a quest to catalogue the history of WGP. I certainly have not made any money on them, so far, and I know I am not alone. Also, make sure you have a lot of cash in the bank as printing books is expensive!

21 February 11

Five Flea Finds

Collection of items picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

This week was very successful at our local flea market… with 5 really good vintage finds for the shop.

vintage Festival of Britain catalogue picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

First is this original catalogue from the Festival of Britain held in 1951. We’ve really enjoyed browsing through this booklet. In addition the run down of the exhibition itself, there are some fantastic period ads.

vintage chocolate brown enamel Finel kettle picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

Next up is this enamel teapot made by Finel. It was covered in dust and badly tea stained inside, but it’s come up beautifully - a good wash revealed the lovely pattern and the inside bleached clean & white.

vintage Bavaria West German porcelain coffee pot picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

This 1960s coffee pot couldn’t fail to catch our eye. We’ve actually had a set in this pattern before - what a great design with its simple, stylised flowers.

vintage handpainted Arabia sunflower plate picked up at Todmorden fleamarket

This plate was at the bottom of a pile. We could just see the petal edges poking out. We’re glad we made the effort to dig down a bit! It’s a lovely vintage hand-painted sunflower plate produced by Arabia of Finland.

set of 6 vintage Ridgway

Finally, we have this tea trio - a set of six trios to be precise. It’s the Amanda pattern produced by Ridgway in the 1960s/70s - bright, cheerful and very usable.

All worth getting up early for!

In addition to the five finds destined for our shop, you may also have noticed some wine glasses in the background of the group photo. We were down to our last couple of decent wine glasses (and we do love a glass or two of red wine in front of the fire!). We’ve been looking for new ones for a few weeks now and were determined to pick some up in a charity shop or flea market. There they were - lovely wine glasses - large bowls, long slim stems, nice quality - £2.50 for a set of 8!! Now that was a great buy!

2 February 11

J is for… jug

trio of vintage milk jugs

Here’s a little blog in praise of the humble jug.

mosaic of four vintage jugs

An essential part of domestic life over thousands of years - we use jugs for carrying water, pouring milk, washing & bathing, displaying flowers - the list is endless.

trio of handmade salt glaze jugs by Damian Keefe

Justin’s brother is a potter  and we have some of his jugs dotted around the house. We love the salt glazed ones above which he makes. They’re quite timeless - you can imagine the one on the right filled with ale in a Pieter Bruegal village scene. The simple thumb detailing around the base is lovely. We need some bowls to match if you’re reading this Damian!!

trio of handmade slipware jugs by Hannah McAndrew

And, as if we didn’t have enough jugs, we bought 3 more at last October’s Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. We couldn’t resist Hannah McAndrew's wares for a second year - her traditional slipware pottery drawing on medieval influences. They look perfect set upon antique wooden furniture  - but would look equally fantastic as stand alone pieces in a very contemporary modern space.

Here are a few more favourites that have recently passed through our hands.

mosaic of four vintage jugs

vintage Figgjo Flint pottery jug

bright green vintage vacuum flask

mosaic of four vintage jugs

A well designed & attractive jug will give you a little bit of pleasure every time you use it!

7 January 11

Friday Folks - Hannah McAndrew

Trio of slipware baluster jugs handmade by Hannah McAndrew

Welcome to #3 in our nearly new Friday Folks series.

We met Hannah McAndrew two years ago at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in Manchester and were immediately struck by her wonderful slipware pottery. We saw her at GNCCF again the following year and just had to treat ourselves to some of her wares!

green dotted horizontal line

Who are you & what do you do?
Hello, my name is Hannah McAndrew and I am a slipware potter working in the wonderful South West of Scotland. I make pots which I aim to be beautiful, which want to be picked up and held and which have a job to do and do it well. I want to make things that tell a story, that make people smile and that give a bit of warmth.

Hannah McAndrew at her kiln

How did you get into the business?
In the first instance I came across clay in a sort of accidental way, I went to Manchester Metropolitan University to study Three Dimensional Design and intending to focus on metalwork. In fact I could not stand the noise and the business in the metal department and by comparison the ceramics room was airy and quiet and light. The tutor there though, Alex McErlain, was probably the biggest influence though as his enthusiasm for functional thrown pots soon had me hooked and I suddenly knew just what it was I wanted to do.

I didn’t feel I knew enough though on leaving university to be able to just go out there and make pots so I searched for an apprenticeship. Eventually I found again in a somewhat accidental manner a potter called Jason Shackleton who lives near Dumfries who offered me a place working at his pottery. So that was that, I left Bolton and moved to Scotland and as soon as I started working with Jason I fell head over heels in love with slip, the techniques associated with it and the history and tradition and passion that stem from it.

trio of slipware bowls hand made by Hannah McAndrew

Who or what inspires you?
What inspires me? Pots, old pots, new pots, seeing other potters work, folk arts, tapestry and embroidery in particular, my imagination, my surroundings, and the way that clay and slips can come together and the potential that they have to create wonderful exciting things.

detail of Hannah McAndrew slipware pottery

What has been your greatest success?
A few things spring to mind when I think about successes for me and business, being asked to visit the USA in April 2011 to demonstrate my work there, being accepted as a professional member of the Craft Potters Association, being still here making pots and selling pots and still loving it after eight, nearly nine years of being self-employed.

pair of slipware decorated candlesticks hand made & decorated by Hannah McAndrew

Have you got any advice for someone wanting to break into the business?
To anyone wanting to enter the business I would say that being determined and passionate and enthusiastic about whatever it is that is your thing are key to your success. Do what you love, follow you heart and share your passion.

detail from handmade jug slip decorated with oak leaves by potter Hannah McAndrew

28 February 10

D is for… Daisy

The vintage skirt below was the inspiration for today’s post. It recently caught my (Adelle’s) eye in the window of one of Manchester’s Northern Quarter vintage shops - a real bargain at just £2!

vintage black and daisy patterned skirt

So this post is going to be a feast of fab flowers…

vintage Staffordshire Pottery mug setvintage Staffordshire Pottery mug set

vintage drinking glass with orange & yellow daisy pattern

vintage Figgjo Flint 'Turi' cup and saucervintage 'Dolly Days' cup and saucer designed by John Russell for Hostess Tableware in the 1960s

A gallery of items that incorporate daisy motifs or simple, stylised blooms.

vintage gravy boat decorated with simple flower motif

vintage flower patterned make-up bagvintage flower patterned oven glove

montage of vintage daisy patterned enamel pots and pans

set of vintage flower patterned coasters designed by Al and Lena Eklundset of vintage flower patterned coasters

vintage Pyrex bowl decorated with green flower motif

These striking patterns often catch our eye on a crowded market stall or auction room full of boxes.

vintage flower patterned tea towel

vintage flower patterned curtains

We had so many examples to chose from - this is just a small selection…

vintage Staffordshire Pottery storage jar

vintage Staffordshire Pottery storage jarvintage Staffordshire Pottery storage jar

vintage Genia Sapper 'Heidi' fabric

vintage flower patterned curtainsvintage flower patterned bedspread

vintage Genia Sapper 'Heidi' fabric

…hope you enjoyed our choices!

15 January 10

B is for…

B is for... Briglin banner image

Vintage Briglin coffee cup & saucer with Italian espresso coffee maker and brown paper bag of coffee beans

Briglin Pottery was founded in 1948 in London’s West End by Brigitte Goldschmidt and Eileen Lewenstein.

Detail of vintage Briglin teapot

They produced a variety of handmade & decorated pottery items such as vases, lamp bases, money boxes and tableware.

Vintage Briglin Pottery vase

The pottery has characteristic subtle, natural tones - oatmeal, terracotta & chocolate.

vintage Briglin Pottery vase as part of an Autumn-inspired mantlepiece

A wax resist technique was often used in the glazing process, producing a wonderfully tactile result - alternating coarse and smooth surfaces.

Vintage Briglin Pottery teapot

We really love the recurring daisy / sunflower motif - also the leaves on stem and striped designs.

Large vintage Briglin Pottery mug

We’re currently fighting over this wonderful big striped mug. To keep the peace, the deal is - if you make the brew, you get the mug!!

If we’ve spiked your interest you’ll find a lot more information on the Briglin Pottery and Pottery Studio websites. There’s also a book on the subject available on our Amazon a-store

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1 November 09

Give ‘em the slip

We’re still thinking about some of the smashing things we saw at the GNCCF. One of our favourite stands was the slipware pottery produced by Hannah McAndrew shown below.

This pottery decoration technique is very ancient - and involves applying wet clay over unglazed pot… either by dipping, piping or painting. Hannah’s pieces have an almost Medieval quality whilst maintaining a modern feel. These small ‘Birdie’ mugs are great, and she also had some fantastic larger pieces…

…such as this jug & plates with oak leaf decoration.

We have a few bits of slipware dotted around our house such as this lovely little candleholder. Slipware has a timeless quality and is very good at tying together antique & modern pieces.

We picked up this amazing  charger a few years ago at a bric-a-brac shop down on the south coast.

It now sits on an antique coffer - it looks lovely against the patina of the old oak.

This large pottery tankard was also a good find - picked up relatively recently at a local flea market. It’s got a bit of age to it - and we think it’s absolutely beautiful!

This mug was made relatively recently but is very interesting all the same because of its social history.

This simple little fish plate is another favourite. The scales look to have been created by dragging a small stick through stripes of the wet slip.

And finally, this bowl which sits on our bathroom window sill and is normally full of bath salts & a little scoop - ready to ease the aches & pains brought on by our constant moving of boxes and furniture!
18 April 08

C is for…

C is for coffee image

What makes that perfect coffee break?

photo of espresso maker, pottery cup and chocolate bar

Well designed machines to make it in…

orange Rowenta coffee machineorange Rowenta coffee machine

Striking pots to serve it in…

group of vintage coffee pots

Vintage Denby Arabesque coffee potVintage Pontessa coffee potVintage Meakin Aztec coffee pot

Beautiful cups to drink it from…

group of hand thrown pottery mugs

Vintage Thomas porcelain trioVintage Staffordshire trio

Vintage Hornsea Bronte trioVintage Stavangarflint June trio

Vintage Elizabethan Portobello cup and saucerVintage Studio Meakin cup and saucer

And not forgetting… cosies to keep it warm!

collection of hand knitted cosy coasters

hand knitted cosy coasterhand knitted cosy coaster

Coffee time @ H is for Home

9 February 08

Something Fishy!

Bill Charmatz fish illustration

Whether it be the physical landscape itself or the flora & fauna contained within it, artists and designers have been influenced by nature over the centuries.

Inspiration drawn from mountains, rivers, lakes, seas, clouds, trees, birds, fish, plants, flowers are all reflected in their work.

We thought it would be fun to take these broad themes and show their influence on the creative process. For no particular reason, we’re going to start with fish!

Poole Pottery Aegean platePottery plate decorated with three fish
vintage 1960s pottery plates
vintage pottery plate

We might feature stuff from any decade, but there will, no doubt be a mid 20th century bias as we love this era and are always drawn to vintage pieces from the 50s, 60s & 70s.

Vintage green glass fish dish
Large 1950s green glass dish

Small green art glass fish sculptureSmall blue art glass fish sculpture
1960s art glass sculptures

Stylised fish were a much-used design motif in this mid 20th century period- in art, design and everyday homewares.

vintage fish collage artwork
Collage entitled Fish Fossil Sea Bed by Andrew Rob, 1970

Pottery serving dish detaildetail of Swedish pottery serving dish
1960s iron trivet Swedish serving dish (Dukat)

vintage fish plate detailvintage fish plate detail
Aquarius series plates by Washington Pottery

vintage John Clappison Hornsea Pottery mugSmall vintage pottery pin dish
John Clappison, Hornsea Pottery Bernard Moss Pentewan Pottery

Trio of wall mountable pottery fish
Hornsea Pottery wall-mountable fish… who needs flying ducks?

Also, the artistic treatment given in cookbooks etc can be quite magical. Two of our undoubted favourites are Bill Charmatz and Charley Harper.

Bill Charmatz illustration of a fish stock potBill Charmatz illustration of fish in a fryer basketBill Charmatz illustration of a cat and fish in a bowl
Bill Charmatz - from the Esquire Cook Book first published in Great Britain in 1956.

Charley Harper illustration of  fish with a thermometer in its mouth
Charley Harper - from Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two first published in 1958.

Charley Harper illustration of a flat fishCharley Harper illustration of a fish with a tangled fishing line in its mouth

Finally, to show that nature can do a pretty good job herself, we picked up this fossil from a great little shop in Hastings. Preserved in green river shales, it’s 45 million years old (hopefully you won’t be waiting that long for the launch of our website!).

image of fossilised fish
Knightia alta, Eocene period. Origin: Wyoming

26 January 08

West German Ceramics

Collection of West German vases

We recently posted a photograph of two ‘lava glazed’ vases on our Flickr page which has proved very popular. So we thought that we’d write a few words and share a few more photos about West German ceramics from the 1950s to the 1970s.

After a period of time being generally ‘out of fashion’ these amazing ceramics are being appreciated once more for their style and eccentricity. They are now regularly seen gracing the pages of design and interior magazines.

The range of colours, shapes, textures and sizes is mind-boggling!

Collection of West German vases

Some pieces are hand-thrown, others are mass-produced, stock shapes. However, as with the Poole ‘Delphis’ Pottery range, even these stock shapes can be transformed by the textures and the individual glazes in every colour imaginable. Pieces range in size from 3 inches to well over 20 inches tall for the larger floor vases.

West German vase with impressed detailing

Impressed ‘thumbnail’ detailing

Lava glaze detail

Frothing lava glaze

Incised West German vase

Incised decoration

Colourful West German vase

No rules with colour combinations!

Base detail of West German vase

Typical base markings

A number of factories produced these characteristic ceramics - Baykeramik, Carstens, Dumler & Breiden, Jopeko, Roth, Ruscha and Scheurich to name but a few. Much has still to be learned about which company produced what. Some factories produced pieces with distinctive base markings such as the crossed swords of Dumler & Breiden, however the majority of pieces simply have serial number markings (often accompanied by ‘German’ or ‘W. Germany’). You may be lucky enough to find a piece with the original paper label, otherwise you’re in for a bit of detective work. Fat Lava book by Mark Hill

There hasn’t been a great deal published on West German ceramics from this period, however Fat Lava, by Mark Hill (from Amazon UK)is a good starting point - it outlines the main factories and is packed with good quality colour photos.

In fact, the book was written to accompany an exhibition of German pottery from this period held at King’s Lynn Arts Centre in 2006.

Another place to find out more is the GinFor’s Odditiques website. Also Outernational, fat-lava.com and An Seta Pottery.

The pots work well displayed in groups of either similar or contrasting colours. The larger floor vases look great as stand-alone pieces.

Our particular favourites are the fiery oranges and reds, particularly ones with the bubbling lava glazes. We’ve built up quite a collection but good examples are getting harder to find and prices are rising steadily.

Trio of West German vases

Trio of small, red and brown West German vases, 4-6 inches tall

Trio of 1950s West German vases

Trio of incised vases - classic 50s shapes

Blue West German vase

Blue vase with original Scheurich paper label

Huge floor vases

West German vase with rustic stool and knitted cushion

Provides striking accent colours

We hope you’ve enjoyed looking at some of our collection. Have a look at our West German Pottery Collectors group on Flickr to see some more examples from us and other members. If this blog has inspired you to start your own collection, then happy hunting!!

Vintage West German pottery & ceramics currently available at our H is for Home online shop

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Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh