Gertrud Natzler ( American, 1908 - 1971 )


Otto Natzler ( American, 1908 - 2007 )

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General Description

Between his arrival in the United States in 1938 and the mid 1950s, ceramicist Otto Natzler was in what he termed his "earth" phase, dominated by scabrous or porous glazes that capitalized on the potential of the mistakes or faults of previous experiments. The simple shape of this bowl, thrown by his wife and partner Gertrud, is balanced by its dramatic yellow and brown "crater" glaze. Its texture is the result of reduction, the elimination of oxygen in the kiln due to the incineration of organic matter, as well as chance. Of this unpredictable technique, Natzler remarked: "You have only partial control over the accidental; the rest is up to God."

Drawn from

Peter Clothier, "Gertrud and Otto Natzler: A Ceramic Art in the Modernist Tradition," in Gertrud and Otto Natzler: Collaboration/Solitude, Janet Kardon, ed. (New York: American Craft Museum,1993), 29-33.