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Gerhard Liebenthron (1925-2005)

Gerhard Liebenthron’s work can be found in several museums in Germany. the Keramik Museum in Berlin, the Focke Museum in Bremen and the Hetiens Museum in Düsseldorf for example. He was a member of the Arts & Crafts Working Group in Bremen.

Liebenthrons work is not rare but there are examples of his work that are very desirable and collectable – especially those made in the Picassoesque designs, idiosyncratic forms and expressive decors & glazes. His work often provokes pareidolic imagery (seeing additional / illusional images within the design or glazes).

Since Gerhard Liebenthron death in 2005 his work has begun to be recognised and collected. Pieces can be bought for under a hundred pounds or the rarer pieces can reach several hundred pounds.

Key dates include:

  • 1925 Born In Neustrelitz Germany
  • *1948-19551 – Studied Studied at the North German Art College in Bremen in the pottery class of Else Krieg and Dorothea Colberg-Tjadens
  • *1951 – Became Assistant of Sculptor Prof. Goersemann
  • *1952 – Opened his own Pottery workshop in Bremen and soon began to show his work at numerous National and International Exhibitions.
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Rudi Stahl (1918-1987)

Rudi Stahl was born in Westerwald, Germany. He studied in Höhr Grenzhausen at the Wim Mühlendyck Pottery from 1933-35; attending the State Ceramic Technical School from 1937-39. While at the State School he also worked at various small potteries, gaining his Masters Certificate and founding his own pottery, also in Höhr Grenzhausen in 1938, which proved to be an eventful year, including winning awards for his own pottery at the National Youth Awards.

Other notable events include:

  • Exhibited at Overstlzenhaus Cologne
  • 1970 – Exhibited Galerie Handwerk Munich
  • 1971 – Won The Federal Outstanding Achievement Award
  • 1972 – Exhibited Chamber of Crafts Kaierslautern
  • 1973 – Gained the Westerwald Prize for Ceramic work
  • 1974 – Exhibited in Cologne and Bonn
  • 1975 – Won The Westerwald Ceramic Prize
  • 1976 – Awarded The Federal Cross of Merit
  • 1977 – Won The Westerwald Ceramic Prize
  • 1980 – Won Golden Medal of Honour for his work in the Ceramic Industry

Oriental influences can be seen in some of the forms and glazes Rudi Stahl developed and used. His work is in museums and private collections around the globe.

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Klothilde Giefer-Bahn (1924-2008)

Born in April 1924, in Klobenz, Germany, Klothilde Giefer-Bahn studied at Höhr Grenzhausen from 1938-1945, beginning as an apprentice at the Elfriede Balzar-Kopps Pottery. In 1947 she gained a Masters Degree as a Ceramicist, plus awards in recognition of her salt-glazed work.
Kothilde Giefer-Bahn opened her own studio in 1947 and participated in many national and international exhibitions.
In 2004 she held a celebrated personal exhibition in Höhr Grenzhausen. Examples of her work are in the museums and private collections around the globe.

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Wim Mühlendyck (1905-1986)

Wim Mühlendyck

Wim Mühlendyck was born in Porz, Cologne, Germany. He spent his academic years in Cologne, including High School and Unversity, and was a teacher there between 1925 and 1926. He spent the following year at the State Ceramic Technical School in Höhr-Grenzhausen. He trained as a commercial teacher in Cologne until 1930, while simutaneously attending the State Ceramic College, before setting up his own workshop in 1931 in Höhr-Grenzhausen. Other notable dates include:

  • 1936 – Justification of Pottery Course in Hohr-Grenzhausen
  • 1937 – Master’s Degree
  • 1937 – World Exhibition in Paris, Honorary Prize
  • 1937 – Crafts Exhibition in Berlin, Gold Medal
  • 1954 – Triennale in Milan, Gold Medal
  • 1956 – Florence, Silver Medal
  • 1965 – ‘German Cermics of the Present’ in Nuremberg
  • 1976 – Awarded the Federal Cross of Merit

Wim Mühlendyck worked closely with his wife Bita Muhlendyck, son Johannas, and his friend Elfriede Balzar-Kopp

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Elfriede Balzar Kopp (1904-1983)

Von Marianne Popp – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Elfriede Balzar Kopp was born in 1904 in Bendorf, Luxembourg. From 1924-26 she studied at the State Engineering and ceramic college in Hohr-Grenzhausen; then from 1926-27, she studied and worked at the State Majolica Factory Karlsruhe, completing her training with Professor Ludwig Konig. She opened her own studio in 1927 in Hohr-Grenzhausen, which she an until her death in 1983.
Elfriede Balzar-Kopp gained a Masters degree in 1937, becoming the first German woman achieve this. She also gained a Certificate of Honour – World Expo Paris & Gold Medal crafts exhibition in Berlin
In 1954 she was awarded the Diploma of the Milan Triennial Design College, and in 1958 gained an Honourable Mention / Ceramic International Syracuse & Honorary Diploma of the World Exhibition in Brussels. Elfriede Balzar-Kopp’s other accolades include:

  • 1961 Bavarian State Prize with Gold Medal, Munich
  • 1962 Silver Medal of the exhibition ‘Ceramique International’ in Prague
  • 1965 Honorary Award of the German Ceramic Society “German Ceramics of the present ” Museum of Applied Arts Nuremberg
  • 1973 prize for salt-glazed stoneware in Westerwald Prize for ceramics
  • 1974 Federal Cross of Merit 1974
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Heinz Theo Dietz (1938-)

Heinz Theo Dietz was born in Cologne in 1938. From an early age he was more interested in working with his hands rather than academic work.
In 1960 Graduated as a Ceramic engineer, Technical School, Hohr-Grenzhausen. During his studies he met his future wife Katherina Muhlendyk (daughter of Wim & Bita Muhlendyk) and married in 1965.
Also in 1965 he opened first pottery, and has always been known as a true artisan potter.
In 1969 he moved to Konigswinter (Westerwald) and founded a new pottery with Katherina, working with typical salt glaze work; and later porcelains with crystal and sparkling glazes.
He founded JKK Artists Community (Community Konigswinterer artist) in 1977, and participated in numerous exhibitions.
He was awarded a State Prize in Ceramic Design in 1985.
In 2003, the pottery transferred to daughter
In 2008, a retrospective exhibition was held – in his 70th year.