Northern Lights pattern vase
Vancouver was the home of a number of thriving production potteries in the 1950s, including B.C. Ceramics Ltd, founded in 1955 by Walter and Herta Gerz. The Gerzs were post-war immigrants to Vancouver. Herta brought training in fine arts and exposure to modernist design in Germany, and Walter brought experience managing a production pottery and expertise in glazing techniques. In Canada, the northern lights inspired this exuberant modernist explosion of shapes and colour. The base of the vase is stamped with mould number “2815” and “Vancouver Canada.” Often B.C. Ceramics Ltd. pieces that Mrs. Gerz decorated by hand are also marked with “by Herta.” The “Northern Lights” pattern was also produced in other standard shapes, including lamp bases.