A tall and colorful early 60s pitcher form vase from Jasba Keramik. A dark brown undercoat is topped with a light gray glaze and a wax resist pattern on the belly that is divided into colorful squares of yellow orange blue and gray. It is accented with thin brown stripes top to bottom.
JASBA KERAMIK was founded by Jakob Schwaderlapp in 1926 on a leased property in the small community of Baumbach (today incorporated into the town of Ransbach-Baumbach) in the Rheinland, now the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, in the heart of the Kannenbäckerland. The Kannenbäckerland (the potters' land, or more literally the jug-bakers' land) is the site of Europe's largest clay deposit and the home to centuries-old ceramics manufacture. Schwaderlapp first produced earthenware central-heating systems, but as early as 1928, built a separate factory built to accommodate an expansion into domestic wares including terracotta vases, fruit bowls, and baking dusters. In 1937 glazed ceramics were added. A major fire temporarily interrupted business development in 1938, but the factory was quickly rebuilt, and all of the new buildings were equipped with the latest modern technology. Unfortunately, this came about just in time for the outbreak of WWII. For It's duration JASBA was mostly restricted to contract work for the Wehrmacht (the united armed forces of Nazi Germany), but the production of porcelain, stoneware, and ornamental ceramics quickly resumed when the war ended. A steep upward trend followed in the post-war period; the number of employees rose from eighty in 1948 to 480 by 1955. By this time Jasba had grown to be the largest ceramics enterprise in the Westerwald, with a volume of domestic and foreign sales in the seven-digit range, so, when the troubled Porzellanfabrik Niederrhein GmbH in Rees became available in 1957, the decision was made to buy it and convert it to the production of industrial tiles and mosaic wall panels for the building trade. This decision would later prove to be one of Schwaderlapp best.
Meanwhile, the large range of ornamental ceramics produced at the parent plant continued to expand. The program was limited to conventional forms and décors, until a cautious introduction of modern forms began in 1955. In that year, the décor 'Jaspatina' was introduced, and a year later the very popular crawl glaze 'Cortina' was made available in several color variants. 'Cortina' proved to be very successful and remained in the production until the early 1960s. At the beginning of 1957, the ceramicist and decor designer Cilli Wörsdörfer joined JASBA KERAMIK following a stint at Ruscha. Her colorful, abstract surface decorations shook up the previously conventional appearance of It's ornamental ceramics. She struck a special note with her decors, 'Tuscany' and 'Verona,' and followed them up the following year with the decors 'Ghana' and 'Karo,' all of which are still much sought-after by collectors of JASBA's 1950s era shapes and décors.
JASBA KERAMIK's immense repertoire was characterized by a great diversity. In 1958 alone, 40 different forms of vases were offered in more than 80 sizes and almost 30 different decor variants. In a bid to reach a higher-end market, Schwaderlapp founded JASBA's well-heeled sister company, Ceramano Kunstkeramik W.J. Schwaderlapp KG in 1959. Ceramano would become a powerhouse in It's own right with the production of many higher-end experimental forms and glazes intended to closely resemble the work of individual studio potters, and to be sold in better department stores and speciality shops throughout Europe.
When she married in 1960, Cilli Wörsdörfer ended her ceramic and artistic activity, and handed over her position at JASBA to Christiane Reuter, whose wide ranging 'Bunte Welt der Keramik' (Colorful World of Ceramics) series initiated the introduction of newer stylistic tendencies and bright colorful glazes in late 1962. JASBA did not do a lot of lava or other textured glazes, but they were especially experimental with shapes and molded patterns. At the end of the 1962 the last typical shapes and decors of the previous decade were retired. The production of decorative ceramics began to decrease at the beginning of the 1970s. In 1981 the focus of production shifted exclusively to the company's extremely successful line of ceramic tiles used in interior and exterior architecture. Jasba Mosaik is still in business today.