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Tea service, Alsiko, ca. 1933
Fritz HaussmannHelene Haussmann
Tea service, Alsiko,
Fritz Haussmann, Helene Haussmann,

Tea service, Alsiko,
ca. 1933

Fritz HaussmannHelene Haussmann
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
  • Alsiko Fritz Haussmann Helene Haussmann Tea service
  • Alsiko Fritz Haussmann Helene Haussmann Tea service
Listen to the text

With the Alsiko tea service, the ceramicist couple Fritz (1900–1968) and Helene Haussmann (1905–1989) introduced functional dishware in an aesthetically pleasing form to the market. Whether unglazed or with color glazes, it enjoyed great popularity both within and beyond Werkbund circles.

The German-trained ceramicists Fritz and Helene Haussmann derived the name of their pottery workshop Alsiko, which they founded in 1928 in Niederuster, from a primary component in the manufacture of ceramics: aluminum silicon oxide. In 1933, they moved to a modern new building in Uster designed by Max Ernst Haefeli, which housed not only a spacious manufactory but also a shop and their own apartment. After initially creating mainly studio ceramics that were rather severe in form, they were soon producing simpler vessels intended for everyday use. Their Alsiko tea service is classic design par excellence. The patented teapot—which is round, much like Wilhelm Wagenfeld’s model made from Jena glass—has a downward-pointing, non-drip spout. The various pieces of the service, made from extremely fine-grained clay, were available either unglazed in red or black or with a variety of different color glazes. Thanks to numerous sales outlets in Zurich (including the sales collective Zur Spindel and, from 1937, Cornelius), Basel, and Klosters, the Haussmanns’ ceramics were distributed well beyond Werkbund circles, allowing the factory to hire up to fifteen employees. Famous decorative artists such as Berta Tappolet, Luise Strasser, Cornelia Forster, and Amata Good worked there as painters. Helene Haussmann also created figurative works. She was in charge of the painting workshop and experimented with a multitude of colors, glazes, and firing cycles. (Arthur Rüegg)

Teeservice, Alsiko, um 1933
Entwurf: Helene Haussmann, Fritz Haussmann
Herstellung: Keramische Werkstätte Alsiko, Uster, CH
Vertrieb: Verkaufsgenossenschaft zur Spindel, Zürich, CH
Material/Technik: Steinzeug, unglasiert
Teekanne 12,5 × 25 × 17 cm
Donation: Arthur Rüegg
Eigentum: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Museum für Gestaltung Zürich (Hg.), 100 Jahre Schweizer Design, Zürich 2014, S. 110.

«Keramische Werkstätte und Wohnhaus F. Haussmann, Uster», in: Werk 22 (1935), Heft 12, S. 397–401.

Auskünfte von Steffen Kuhn, Zürich.

Image credits

Teeservice, Alsiko, um 1933, Entwurf: Helene Haussmann, Fritz Haussmann, Donation: Arthur Rüegg
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Teller, nach 1937, bemalt von Berta Tappolet, Entwurf: Helene Haussmann, Fritz Haussmann
Abbildung: Arthur Rüegg

Fotografie, 1933 erbaute Töpferwerkstatt Alsiko in Uster, um 1935
Abbildung: Arthur Rüegg