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$ 145

KUNSTTÖPFEREI UNTERSTAB (KTU) STUDIO VASE 28 CM (GDR)

Documentation Signed
Origin Germany
Period 1950-1979
Materials Glazed Ceramic
Dimensions
H. 11 in; Diam. 4 in;
H. 27.94 cm; Diam. 10.16 cm;
Condition Good. Excellent Vintage Condition
Description A beautiful teardrop-shaped vase in a running Franz Klein blue lava-like glaze produced in the former GDR by Ralf and Gudrun Unterstab for Kunsttöpferei Unterstab. Indistinctly marked on the base.

KUNSTTÖPFEREI UNTERSTAB (Unterstab Art Pottery), aka KTU, was a ceramic studio founded in the early 1960s in the tiny district town of Langenhessen in Saxony in the former GDR by husband and wife Ralf and Gudrun Unterstab. Typical of many small East German workshops, hardly anything is known about its operations or the personages involved. One exception is the fact that Gudrun Unterstab (b. 1940) is the daughter of the famous potter Albert Kießling who set up his own studio in Langenhesssen in 1954. Husband Ralf (b. 1937) remains a complete mystery.

Whatever the division of labor between them actually may have been, many suppose that Ralf was responsible for the forms and that Gudrun was the glazer. It must be noted that this conjecture rests solely on the similarity of many of the UNTERSTAB glazes to those developed by Kießling. The couple's work has sometimes fancifully been attributed to one "Kerstin Unterstab"—perhaps owing to the appearance of the initials "KTU" on the base of some pots—but such a person never existed, at least not in connection with the UNTERSTAB studio.
Styles / Movements Mid Century, Minimalist, Studio Craft
Patterns Abstract, Handmade, Modern, Textured, Tone on Tone
Dealer Reference Number e#372441748348
Incollect Reference Number 483972
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