Hello. We like to collect well-designed vintage pottery (and lots of other stuff) from the 1950s,
'60s and '70s. Here are some pictures and info of a selection of the things we've found.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Soholm Joseph Simon wall tile. What a relief.

One of my first blog-posts on Potshots was on a selection of ceramic wall tiles by Soholm, Denmark. Some were designed by Noomi Backhausen. You can see the original blog-post here: Soholm wall plaques

Here's another Soholm wall tile, this time designed by Joseph Simon. I would say the tile dates from the mid-1970s. The simplified and stylised illustration is wonderful and the rich red and blue glazes are intense and rich. One really striking aspect to this wall tile is the depth of the relief molding. There's a real three-dimensional feel to the tile. When it's displayed on a wall, it gives an impressive effect – a piece of art that's both a picture and a sculpture at the same time.

I have this wall tile hanging in my work room and it's a constant pleasure.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Vintage Boda bowl. Colourful handmade glass from Sweden

I found a smart little bowl at the weekend. This small glass bowl is beautifully decorated with a swirl of white, yellow, and red colouring.

I wouldn't think the bowl has much age to it but it is good looking enough to deserve a place on the Potshots shelf. There's a small silver sticker for Boda, Sweden and the base is engraved Boda. There is also a signature on the base that looks like 'Ulrica'. Could this be for Ulrica Hydman-Vallien perhaps? I hope so.

More information on Ulrica Hydman-Vallien: Ulrica and Boda glass

Friday, 17 June 2011

A pair of Italian vases. So hot, they're cool.

Two smart Italian vases. Not pottery this time, these vases are made of glass.

The square shaped bases and the narrowing round necks make for a very pleasing shape. I like the the hot red and warm brown colours. Also, the lively marbled effect in the glass which has the look of flames and smoke. The vases were not bought together but they do make quite a stylish pair. It would be easy to place them in a modern mid-century styled interior.

The vases were made in the 1960s or 1970s by V. B. Opaline, Florence. There seems to be a lack of information on this manufacturer and their products. I can't find any details of their production dates or their designers. Perhaps the company was only small or they were making glass for just a short time.

Even so, whoever V. B. Opaline were, I'm glad they made these vases.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Frank Keramik Danmark. A Danish vase with a Swedish cousin

I was reminded about this vase by another pot I saw this week.

This is a small vase by Frank Keramik, Danmark. I wanted to show it because of the bright red/orange colour. Also, because of the unusual surface texture. There are raised areas of matt brown un-glazed pot in bands and diamonds. I would think this vase is from the 1970s.

It seems that this glaze technique is popular in Scandinavian ceramics. I was reminded about my little Frank vase when I saw a blog-post with a lovely Upsala Ekeby vase by Mari Simmulson on La momes Old fashioned, here: Mari Simmulson blue vase

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Hornsea Jungle mugs. They were news in the 1970s.

Screen printed in black onto coloured backgrounds, the illustrations for these mugs have strips of newspaper cuttings incorporated into the bodies of the animals.

Known as Jungle Mugs, they were made by Hornsea Pottery in the late 1970s. The stylish illustrations have a sophisticated, highly graphic feel and yet they have subtle touches of humour. I love those blank expressionless faces. The range consisted of six different wild animals. As well as the tiger, hippo and elephant, there were also mugs depicting a lion, a toucan and an owl.

I don't know about you but I think they're just wild.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Troika wheel vases from the 1970s. Nice to have a round.

It's not the most obvious shape for a vase but these circular Troika wheel vases have got lots of style about them.

Not only that, but there's the added bonus of having two vases in one. Both sides are so different, when you want a change, simply turn the vase around and it's like looking at a new vase.

And they certainly are good to look at. I like the abstract designs – sometimes geometric, sometimes freely-drawn. There's also a nice depth of texture to the surfaces.

Made by Troika, Cornwall, England, these vases probably date from the 1970s. I have a feeling the blue coloured wheel vase was decorated by Anne Lewis.

It's been a pleasure to have these fine examples of Troika pottery around.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

A knobbly bobbly West Geman Carstens vase.

We like knobbly bobbly surfaces on our retro vases, don't we?

Yes we do. And you get plenty of knobbly bits for your money on this one – it's over one foot (30cm) tall.

This chunk of 3D retro styling is by Carstens, West Germany. The vase is made up of three cylinder shapes. The middle one has a glossy honey-coloured glaze and those wacky, almost mushroom shaped, bobbles. Judging by the style, the vase is probably from the 1960s or early 1970s.

OK, it may be a little 'over-the-top' but I like this vase. I can see why the symmetrical, sculptural shape would appeal to interior designers. It would be perfect to help create a stylish mid-century look.

There's more information on Carstens West German pottery and their designers here: Carstens at Retropolitan

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Scheurich West Germany Fat Lava vase passes the test

When it comes to the West German pottery known as Fat Lava, there's such a huge range of design styles and colour schemes, it's difficult to know where to start. If you tried to collect everything you found with West Germany on the base, you'd soon run out of space to keep it all.

For that reason, I've tried to limit the numbers of Fat Lava items in the Potshots collection. I decided to pick up only the pieces that really appealed to me – to restrict myself to items that are particularly pleasing on the eye.

This tall blue vase I found recently, certainly passed the test. I like the tall, narrow shape with the flared neck. The strands of thick orange 'lava' glaze have a texture almost like orange peel and they contrast perfectly with the deep blue and cool grey of the background.

The vase is marked W GERMANY 520 22 on the base. I think this is the mark for Scheurich, West Germany. I would say the vase is from the 1960s.

You can find lots more 'lava' on this excellent blog: Blurat blog

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Vintage Harvest Tupperware. Pure retro and a perfect picnic pick.

Makes you want to go on a picnic, doesn't it?

I know it's a little off my usual subject of vintage, retro pottery. And although it's not pottery, vintage and retro it certainly is.

I found these Tupperware lidded bowls and cups recently and couldn't resist sharing them with you. I think the range name is Harvest and they're probably from the early 1970s.

The strong colours are brilliant and so typical of the 1970s era. I love the olive green and the dark orange colours. Remember this?: A retro colour palette

It's a combination of shape, colour and texture that make this vintage Tupperware look so good. But they are a joy for a couple of other reasons – they're thoughtfully designed and very well made, the lids are a good tight fit, they stack together for storing away, and they're so strong that they're virtually indestructible. Not only that but as we get further away from the 1970s, who knows? these simple picnic accessories and food storage containers may become a valuable collectable of the future.