In 1892 brothers Christian and Ernst Carstens opened a ceramics factory in Brandenburg, E. Germany. By 1945, the company had collapsed from the onslaught of WW2. In 1947, the brothers re-established as CARSTENS-TÖNNIESHOF and relocated to West Germany. After 30 years they further expanded production to factories in Austria, Australia and South America but by 1984 closed down completely.
The primary designers were Trude Carstens, Heinz Siery, Gerda Heuckeroth, Dieter Peter, Helmut Scholtis, Rudolph Christmann and A. Seide
The first more modern ceramics are probably from the period 1949-1954 and exhibited simple forms and colors. More complex and organic patterns and elements of gold were developed by Trude (wife of Ernst) Carstens in the mid-1950s. Some forms with geometric, moulded patterns was also developed in the end of the 1950s. One example is the relief-series Carmen from 1958.
From 1963-69 the Ankara motif, designed by Helmut Scholtis, proved to be most successful and was used on many forms. The patterning is an example of the wax resist technique that Carstens and many other companies used during the 1960's. Carstens produced many variations of the Ankara aesthetic. During the 1960's Carstens also used different glazing techniques on the same forms. In late 1960's Dieter Peter and Rudolph Christmann created advanced, odd forms often with advanced "fat lava" glazes.
During the mid 1960s Heinz Siery and Gerda Heuckeroth also developed forms with geometric patterns. Examples designed by Heinz Siery are found on Brasilia and Manilla series. The Europa series from 1967 is also a series with molded geometric patterns, probably inspired by ancient European cultures.