Horst Kerstan (1941-2005) made a crucial impact on post-1945 German ceramics. The artist, who is renowned at home and abroad, began his career with an apprenticeship in the workshop of the former ceramic master Richard Bampi. Through his involvement with Hans Arp, Kerstan created incommutable forms of fruit and waves, testaments to a distinct language of forms. Chinese ceramics inspired him to reach the highest level of perfection in form and glaze, while Japanese ceramics taught him to let go and allowed him to find a high degree of expressive spontaneity. In 1977 Kerstan built the first Japanese anagama wood oven in Germany, which opened up extraordinary possibilities in design. He also found new challenges in the raku technique in which he developed his own artistic interpretations from 1990 onwards. Kerstan's later works are characterised by strong colours and tulip-like forms.