Art Pottery (American and European art pottery other than mid century items)
Pottery and Porcelain (Figurines, plates, vases, etc.)
Mid-Century Design (Mid Century pottery, currently featuring one of the best selections of studio and W. German pottery in the U.S.)
Studio Pottery (While many of these items can be found in other categories, they are also gathered here for those with a special interest in studio work.)
Glass (art glass, stemware, EAPG, Depression, Elegant, etc.)
Metalware (Various metal items and misc. vases, inkwells, etc.)
Paintings (oils, watercolors, prints, 19th and 20th century American and European)
Essays and Information:
Book Review: Fat Lava, West German Ceramics of the 1960s & 70s
West German Picture Gallery and Identification Aid (pictures of items we've had over the last 3 years)
Get the Picture Straight: The Basics of Selling Glass and Pottery on the Internet (how to write item listings, matters of photography, etc.)
Pedagogy, Philosophy and Nonsense (my "other" site: writing, learning, and odd ideas like long hair and fairy god-princesses)
West German Pottery
The Fat Lava Collectors Club is on a longterm hiatus. Here is the last message I received:
FYI: Just wanted to reiterated that the collectors group is alive and well, but on hiatus until the Fat Lava exhibition gets underway at the Canadian Clay and Glass Museum, Waterloo, Ontario, September 26, 2010-January 7, 2011.
Founded in December 2006, the purpose of the Fat Lava collectors club is to expand the appreciation and knowledge of West German pottery. The club has monthly meetings, gives donations to museums, and organizes exhibitions. Members include collectors, dealers, curators and other West German pottery fans from around the world. The club has a relaxed organizational structure, but is diligent about keeping its members connected and informed by a frequent and regular e-newsletter called LAVAflow.
Pages (on hold while I figure out where I
put the catalog or the pictures, oops)
The meaning of Fat Lava: The term fat lava has become increasing common since the London exhibition and Mark Hill's catalog/book of the exhibition used the phrase in their title.
I don't know of an official history of the term, but I think it's a translation quirk. Most of the top sellers of West German pottery on eBay are in Germany, and while many of them have a fine command of English, there are always words that are just a bit off.
Some pieces of West German pottery, especially after 1965, have a thick, volcanic, or pumice, or lava-like glaze on all or part of the vase. It seems that "thick" came through as "fat" and a thick lava glaze became fat lava.
It's a fun term, much more descriptive than saying West German pottery, and it rolls off the tongue much easier. Unfortunately, it leaves out the majority of West German pottery. Even in the Fat Lava book, many of the vases pictured have nothing that can be called a lava glaze, fat, thick, or otherwise.
So enjoy the term, the images it conjures, and the cultural quirk it represents. Just don't take it too firmly or as an absolute.