Collecting Articles and Features

The Classic Fat Lava Designs of Dorothea Roth for Roth Keramik

The Roth Ceramics Factory (Roth Keramik) was a German ceramics factory that was based in Ebernhahn at the heart of the West German ceramics industry. It was founded by Edmund Roth in 1954, and operated until it closed in 1992. Dorothea Roth, Edmund’s wife, was one of the leading designers at the factory and  was responsible for many of the pieces created.

Roth Keramik Fat Lava Guitar Vase Model 312 in Orange
Roth Keramik Fat Lava ‘Guitar’ Vase Model 312 in Orange. Sold for 134 Euros, February 2019.

Her signature pieces featured a stunning coloured high gloss petal sections surrounded by glossy thick black lava glaze. The edges of the pieces had the same think black lava glaze. This was created on a number of shapes including the iconic Guitar Vase. The striking colors used include the most common orange, but also red, yellow and rare purple examples.

The retro looking design from the late 1960s and 1970s has become very collectable and prices have risen steeply over the last decade. (click to view current Roth Keramik lava items on ebay).

Dorothea Roth’s iconic “Petal” series remains the icon design series and “Poster Boy” for Fat Lava

Roth Ceramic pieces were often marked on the base West Germany and the shape number.

Below are some of the known shapes on which the petal design features on.

Shape no 308 Ball / Globe Vase
Shape no 309 Lozenge Upright Vase
Shape no 310 Small Brick Shaped Vase
Shape no 311 Large Lozenge Upright Vase

Roth Keramik large Lozenge vase Shape no 311 in orange and black
Roth Keramik large Lozenge vase Shape no 311 in orange and black.

Shape no 312 The Guitar Vase (also known as Arms Vase)
Shape no 313 Double disc vase

The petal design is also seen on Shape no 403 the Headlamp vase / planter. This appears to be rarer shape and is seen in mainly orange and red colours, but also in yellow and a seldom seen blue. The prices for these in blue and yellow are high.

Roth Keramik headlamp vase shape no 403 in yellow and black
Roth Keramik headlamp vase shape no 403 in yellow and black. Sold for 1,750 Euros on Catawiki , January 2020.

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Features on Fat Lava by the brilliant Mark Hill