Hedwig Bollhagen - Ceramics From A Very Mixed German Past That Last Until Today
I found some of her pieces by accident, literally by stumbling over them on one of Berlin´s flea-markets some years ago. As I am always interested in pottery and ceramics of any kind, I asked the old man who was selling it, what the sign HB means, and that way I heard about Hedwig Bollhagen for the first time.
A ceramic artist whose work pretty much touched all German design and craftsmanship within the last century, starting shorty after World War One, touched my the modern influences of Bauhaus, then became famous quickly for her designs of everyday-dishes, having been awarded in Paris and Berlin in the late Thirties of that century.
After having finished her education as a master, she took over a little craft operation and started to work on serial table ware, designs she refined during her lifelong work, after the war in Eastern Germany as a company that was now state occupied like any other and then later, after the reunification, as what it is until today: "HB- Werkstätten für Keramik".
Her designs these days fill museums and collections, and I think, in her work, you feel this strange camouflage that is German design of the last century, better and more intense than in any other: the strong and unemotional design of Bauhaus, the invention of serial mass production in combination with high quality during Second World War, the modern structuralism of GDR design with its Socialistic influences and the the mid century taste of elegance combined with pragmatism.
Hedwig Bollhagen worked until her death in 2001 - just two our three years before I found my little bargain, a tea pot and some cups with saucers, that is one of my favourite everyday dish, among very different designs I found in Italy and the South of France.
Watch the little movies below, even if you do not understand everything, you will find more of her beautiful pieces and learn about her special techniques. Or checkout the web shop - most of her designs are hand crafted and sold until today.