Helmut Friedrich Schäffenacker
HELMUT FRIEDRICH SCHÄFFENACKER (1921-2010)
Helmut Friedrich Schäffenacker, born in Ulm in 1921 as the son of a painter. Otto Schäffenacker. He completed an apprenticeship in 1949 with sculptor Rudolf Pauschinger. He founded his studio Atelier Schäffenacker in 1948 and worked in a great array of materials in addition to ceramics including bronze, wood, stone, metals and paper. His range included ceramic animals, plaques, paintings and sculpture and public art works.
Initially he designed everyday objects such as vases, ashtrays or bowls. In the second half of the 1950s, wall panels with relief decorations were created, primarily with figurative motifs. Later, the forms of everyday objects evolved to become more sculptural objects and the motifs for the wall panels became more abstract.
In the 1950s, Schäffenacker mainly worked with white, later the vases and bowls almost exclusively in red. The wall ceramics are usually stamped with an embossing stamp: "Schäffenacker, hand-formed, Ulm / Do., Made in Germany". Vases, bowls, etc. are only sometimes marked with this stamp, but i n some cases, adhesive labels were attached to the ceramics, in the 1950s with “Atelier Schäffenacker”, later with a black “Sch” on a gold background.
In 1960 he moved with his workshop and his family to Ulm-Böfingen. He worked there with three kilns and sometimes up to ten employees. All works were either unique or were cast in small batches of up to one hundred pieces from with plaster molds which have limited life use thereby making his pieces all limited editions.
In addition to his ceramic work, Schäffenacker worked as a painter and sculptor, he carried out his work in various materials, preferably in stainless steel and bronze, but also stone, wood and combinations of materials. He created reliefs and panels for numerous public buildings and fountains and sculptures for public spaces.
At the beginning of the manufactory, the artist mainly sold locally and regionally, from the mid-1950s he began to take part in trade fairs and sold his work through stores in various cities, both in Germany and in neighboring countries.
Schäffenacker has received a large number of national and international prizes for his ceramic work. At the commemoration given for the artist's 85th birthday, Justus Engelfried wrote: “The individual objects are outstanding works by German and international ceramic design (e.g. the vase objects). The variety and number of wall panels are unique in Germany. The entire ceramic oeuvre of the designer and artist Schäffenacker .. is probably looking for its equal anywhere in the world."
In 1993, due to his age, the artist's ceramic work ended when he had the kiln in his studio dismantled.