Handmade since 1492

A little piece of Austria

For over 500 years, Gmundner Keramik has built on its proud Austrian heritage and outstanding reputation for handcrafting beautiful and unique ceramic pieces. First mentioned in the annals in 1492, the manufactory situated in the town of Gmunden is one of the largest in Central Europe. Today, Gmundner Keramik is synonymous with the finest quality Austrian tableware. Its commitment to traditional craftsmanship ensures that each piece is unique – made and painted by hand and as unique as the person who buys it. The signature Green Flamed pattern is instantly recognisable and much sought-after worldwide.


First products

The first products designed by Gmundner were quite basic. These early designs are known as Hafner ware, a style of lead-glazed earthenware that was popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Hafner ware had a porous body that had to be glazed to be made impermeable.


The birth of a classic

In the 17th century, the town of Gmunden established itself as the centre of the ceramics industry in Austria. Over the course of the next 100 years, local artisans began to develop recognisable patterns and ceramic shapes. An important development of this era was the painting of short, bold green lines on the edge of plates and bowls. The famous Green Flamed pattern was born.


Moving into the Hafnerhaus

In 1843, the Hafnerhaus was bought by Franz Schleiss and his wife Franziska. In 1903, his son Leopold Schleiss founded the Gmundner Tonwarenfabrik (Gmunden Pottery Factory) on what is now the site of the present-day Gmundner Keramik manufactory. In 2003, the company celebrated the 100th anniversary of the site with a series of events, including the hosting of an international ceramic symposium.


Collaboration with artists

In the 19th century, famous artists such as Gustav Klimt, Gustav Mahler and Franz Lehàr often accompanied the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) to their summer residence in Bad Ischl and influenced the ceramic art of that time


Love of art

The Schleiss family was a patron the arts in the region. In 1909, the Franz and Emilie Schleiss Art Workshop opened its doors and began what makes our company so special to this day - the love of art.


Merger of Wiener and Gmundner Keramik and Gmundner Tonwarenfabrik Schleiß GmbH

In 1913, Franz Schleiss II merged with Wiener Keramik (Vienna Ceramics), which served as a sales association for Wiener Werkstätten. The United Wiener und Gmundner Keramik and Gmundner Tonwarenfabrik Schleiß GmbH attracted many talented ceramic artists such as Peche, Powolny, Zülow and Hartmann during the summer and turned Gmunden into an artist colony.


Number 1 in Austria

In 1968, Johannes Fürst Hohenberg, a direct descendant of the Austrian imperial family, acquired the Gmundner Keramik manufactory and made it the number 1 tableware manufacturer in Austria. The new-found success was partly due to the growing popularity of the Green Flamed pattern. Fürst Hohenberg subsequently teamed up with Professor Gudrun Wittke-Baudisch to establish Gruppe H (Group H), a local ceramic art association - the H stand for Hallstatt (residence of Mrs Wittke-Baudisch) and Hohenberg.


Award of the National Coat of Arms of the Republic of Austria

Under Johannes Fürst Hohenberg the "Gmundner Keramik Hohenberg Ges.m.b.H." was awarded the national coat of arms of the Republic of Austria. Gmundner Keramik was granted the right to bear the national coat of arms for its special efforts in the economic sector. During this time, the company employed around 500 people.


Markus Friesacher - new owner of Gmundner Keramik

The traditional Upper Austrian company Gmundner Keramik is changing ownership. The factory, which has been privately owned by the von Moy family since 1997, is transferred to the Salzburg entrepreneur Markus Friesacher in August 2018. He took over the manufactory, which has been in existence for over 500 years, with its 130 employees, the associated world of experience and the brand stores. The company therefore remains firmly in Austrian hands. 


Store opens in Hallstatt

In autumn 2019, Gmundner Keramik opened a new store in Hallstatt, Upper Austria. The store is located in the historic Marktplatz, next to the town square's cosy cafés, restaurants and bars. Here you will find the entire collection of Gmundner ceramics to choose from.


Flaming of Pottery - UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

In May 2021, the "flaming of pottery" was designated as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. The flaming of pottery denotes the application of a recognisable pattern on ceramic parts. First finds of white-blue coloured pottery in the area around Gmunden date back to the year 1600, from which the typical decoration technique, the “flamed” or “Gmundner crockery” developed. The craftsmanship of flaming takes about two years to learn, focusing on sustainable and local production. Typical patterns include ribbons or loops, in stripes, waves or arches. The green banding combined with the white blazing foundation forms the typical “green-flamed”, which is applied onto the crockery and decorative items.


National Coat of Arms Award

It is an honour that Gmundner Keramik Manufaktur GmbH & Co KG has been awarded the national coat of arms. Austrian companies that have rendered outstanding services to the economy are awarded the national coat of arms. In future, Gmundner Keramik will be allowed to bear the national coat of arms of the Republic of Austria as a "state-awarded company".


Update of the company logo

Due to the inclusion of the traditional handcraft of "flaming of pottery" in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage, Gmundner Keramik has decided to adapt the company logo. The flower blossom in the logo was renewed with a "flamed" look. The logo was presented in the course of the Summer Festival 2021.


Academy of Ceramics Gmunden

Gmunden will have an Academy of Ceramics in 2022.
The varied cooperation between Gmundner Keramik and artists since 1909 will be continued in an innovative way in cooperation with the OÖ Landes-Kultur GmbH. This lively format is about mutual inspiration between the Gmundner Keramik Manufaktur and contemporary artists of international stature.


Austrian Music Theater Award

For the 10th anniversary of the Austrian Music Theatre Award, we were allowed to reinterpret the "Schikaneder" statuette. In the process, high culture meets the highest craftsmanship. Reduced to a feather in combination with a pan flute with seven pipes, the symbolism of "Schikaneder" is unmistakable. The uniqueness of the statuette is guaranteed by the flaming of the feather. The distinctive technique, which is more than 300 years old, is both an intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO and a unique piece from Austria. On 13th September, in the Wolkenturm in Grafenegg, the unique pieces in 13 categories, as well as four special categories, will be awarded by a top-class jury of journalists and the Board of Directors. It is an honour for us to provide this special event with a unique award.


Shop opening Anif

On Thursday, 20 April 2023, the owner of Gmundner Keramik Markus Friesacher opened the first Gmundner Keramik Manufakturverkauf in Anif. The successful concept of the manufactory shop is being expanded and the conveniently located shop in Anif is expected to be very popular with both guests and visitors from the surrounding area. In future, motifs ranging from classic scattered flowers to leopards will be presented on 120 m2.


Shop opening Vienna

In the centre of the 8th district, in the historic vaults of the Beethovenhaus, the Gmundner Keramik Welt was officially opened. These venerable premises serve as a stage to present the many facets of the company. In addition to the shop, where the complete range of unique handmade items from Gmunden are on display for purchase, visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the fascinating craftsmanship behind the ceramic works. In addition, the lounge at the Gmunden Lodge in Namibia invites visitors to embark on a spiritual journey to faraway Africa.