In 1964 Otto Gerharz, former production director for German manufacturer Ruscha, founded Otto Keramik. Gerharz is credited with developing the famed "Vulkano" glaze technique which is widely described as fat lava. His focus and interest was primarily in the chemistry of glazes which was the apparent reason he left Ruscha to start his own workshop at his house to research glazes. He later moved to an industrial complex in 1970. All glazes until 1996 were produced by Otto. He worked with designer Kurt Tschorner (who had also worked at Ruscha) who continued to produce the forms and shapes until 1987.
This was a small company with a dedicated group of employees with limited production output. In 1994 Otto’s son, Otto Jr., took assumed leadership on production. When Ruscha closed in 1996 Otto took over some of their old designs. The company is one of the last of the great post-war German art potteries still in operation.
Today it is very important to Otto Keramik that their glazes are designed and manufactured in-house. Basic glazes are colored in house adding various oxides and/or pigments. By glazing 2 or more glazes on top of one another, they can achieve effects that only come about through decades of developed experience and knowledge.