born in Berlin, Germany

internship in the studio of Wilhelm and Elly Kuch

Hochschule für bildende Künste in Kassel; learns pottery from Walter Popp, whose assistant she was for a time

founds own studio in Buch (Weisendorf)

six-month study trip to Japan

relocation of the studio to Beerbach (Dietersheim)


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From 10/09/2021 to 30/10/2021 an exhibition of works by Heidi Kippenberg was on display at Brutto Gusto in Berlin. There is also an exhibition catalog for this Heidi Kippenberg exhibition, which you can also buy on Amazon, for example:

View on Amazon.de  


Walter Popp student – Kassel School of Pottery

Heidi Kippenberg is a student of the ceramist Walter Popp. The style of her early works is strongly reminiscent of the style of Walter Popp, but in the meantime she has made works in many different styles. A continuous Kippenberg style can not be recognized until today, but a desire to experiment and create new forms using new techniques. Popp is one of the pioneers of abstract ceramics in Germany and is known for the use of brush painting on his vessels. Walter Popp’s most famous students are:

  • Heidi Kippenberg
  • Antje Brüggemann-Breckwoldt
  • Ralf Busz
  • Ursula Gerke-Busz
  • Dieter Crumbiegel
  • Wolfgang Heyne
  • Konrad Quillmann
  • Robert Sturm
  • Fritz Vehring
  • Vera Vehring
  • Peter Lakotta

Walter Popp was the founder of the so-called Kassel School of Pottery, an artists’ collective at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. Popp was a university lecturer there from 1954 to 1977. Heidi Kippenberg assisted him at times.

Kippenberg also learned a great deal from Bernhard Leach’s “A Potter’s Book” and on her many trips abroad, for example to Colombia, England, Japan and Turkey.

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Awards from Heidi Kippenberg

The ceramist Heidi Kippenberg has received several awards for her work:

  • Stifterpreis für angewandte Kunst, 2nd prize (Kunstverein, Darmstadt) [1965]
  • Design competition “Neuer Platz” (Erlangen) [1970]
  • Prize of the Dannersche Kunstgewerbestiftung (Munich) [1975]
  • Art Collections “Bayrische Keramik heute” (Coburg) [1984]
  • “Porzellan im Salzbrand” (Hamburg) [1997]

In addition, there have been numerous exhibitions of works by Heidi Kippenberg and her ceramics are in quite a few public collections – especially in Germany.

Decipher HK signature

The signature of Heidi Kippenberg is an incised HK, which is often confused by the uninformed with the signature of Trenck Kellinghusen. As the HK is done by hand, it is not correct to speak of a “Heidi Kippenberg mark” and better to say “Heidi Kippenberg signature”. The numerical additions next to the signature are an indication of the following years of manufacture:

  • 1 = 1968
  • 2 = 1969
  • 3 = 1970
  • 4 = 1971
  • 5 = 1972
  • 6 = 1973
  • 7 = 1974

From 1975 on, the year appears abbreviated. For example, for the year 1975 “HK 75”, although there are also earlier ceramics by Heidi Kippenberg that are signed in this way, such as “HK 68” for the year of manufacture 1968. In 1971, Kippenberg began numbering her ceramics consecutively, with the numbering starting anew each year.


Reineking v. Bock, Gisela: Keramik des 20. Jahrhunderts, Deutschland, München 1979, p. 194

Heidi Kippenberg website: https://www.heidi-kippenberg.de/#/vita, last accessed August 11, 2021

Walter Popp und Schüler, Keramion 11, Frechen 1977

Heidi Kippenberg, Keramiken von 1964 bis heute, 28. Oktober 1979 bis 3. Februar 1980, Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg


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