Found It At The Market- Fat Lava Pottery

Fat Lava West German potteryBefore moving to Germany a good friend of mine, Justin at Patina Antiques/Wiregrass Estate Sales, told me his favorite pottery came from Germany. When he mentioned the style “Fat Lava” I was not familiar with the pottery and had to look it up. Wow, what a variety of shapes and colors both bold and subtle.  Most of the fat Lava pottery has a thick chunky glaze but there are also a wide variety with beautiful patterns embossed onto the surface.

In my research I found that, “Fat lava is the name given to certain styles of postwar, West German art pottery, particularly from the 1960’s and ’70s. The genre gets its name from the thick, encrusted glazes that typify many of these pieces, some of which look as if their surfaces are composed of frozen flows of lava in radioactive hues ranging from fiery reds to cobalt blues. While the glazes were referred to at the time as lava glazes, the “fat” designation is more recent, the result of the public’s particular fascination with pieces whose glazes are especially thick and textured.”via Collectors Weekly

There were many ceramics factories that produced what is now known as “Fat Lava” pottery but generally there are no factory marks only a number designator and the “W.Germany” stamp.


Fat LavaThese “Fat Lava” pieces can be found in the U.S. but as collector interest  has increased so has the price. Fortunately for me I am living in Germany where the product is abundant and the prices are amazing. These easy to find pieces came from trödelmarkts and thrift stores and each of them cost less than 10€ ($14.) The ones I have collected range is size from 5 1/2″ to 18″ (14-45cm) tall. Here are a few I have found.

Fat Lava West German pottery

  1.  Red Scheurich Vase 520-28 /  3€ ($4.20)
  2. Orange Jopeko Handled Vase 70-20 / 1€ ($1.40)
  3. Blue Scheurich Handled Vase 401-28 / 7€ ($10)
  4. Black White Flame Bay Keramik Handled Vase 67-17 / 3€ ($4.20)
  5. Blue Orange Yellow Scheurich Vase 23-15 / 2€ ($2.40)
  6. Blue Bay Keramik vase 546-17 /2€ ($2.40)
  7. Oranges-Bay Bodo Man Vase 92 14 /2€ ($2.40)
  8. Blue and Flame Bay Keramik Small Rustic Jug 93-17  /2€ ($2.40)
  9. Brown and White Scheurich vase 203-22 / 2.50€ ($3.50)
  10. Grey and Red Bay Keramik Relief vase 990-17 /2.50€ ($3.50)

Fat Lava West German pottery

My absolute favorite Fat Lava piece so far is my 18″ tall White Sheurich Floor Standing Jug Vase 429-45 which I a paid only 10€ ($14) for.  Jonathan Adler, eat your heart out!

If you are in love with “Fat Lava” as much as I do you can learn more at  Fat Lava or Retro Fat Lava where you can get a wealth of information and buy your own “Fat Lava.” I myself prefer the hunt!

If you decide this is a collection for you, be forewarned collecting “Fat Lava” is quite addictive…

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