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Kalmar Australia

I’ve long been a fan of the flamboyant style of ceramics produced by Kalmar Pottery in Australia during the 1950s and 1960s. Pieces from this pottery with their shiny lustre glazes and gold trim, display a high level of skill and craftsmanship. They are also representative of the very popular style of this era, purchased by the ordinary person for display in their home.

Kalmar was a husband and wife pottery operated by Irene and Julius Kalmar, emigrants from Hungary after World War II who arrived in Australia in 1949. Like so many post WWII emigrant and refugees Artists and Potters to Australia their contribution to the Art and Craft landscape of Australia was significant….but overlooked. There are some fascinating snippets in the TROVE Database about their escape from communist Hungary, and how they had to leave their children with their Grandmother for safety, to be finally re-united in Australia several years later for a huge monetary cost.

The Kalmar pottery operated in Sydney during the 1950s to the mid 1960s when it was forced into liquidation.

Irene was the modeller and decorator of the work, while husband Julius looked after all the other pottery processes. The name later changed to Australian Art Ceramics Products (AACP) when it was registered as a company, albeit short-lived.

Fish, Birds, Flowers, Cornucopia, and Animal Figurines were common subjects. The base of Kalmar pottery is usually (but not always) stamped with Kalmar and a form number. Some pieces will have both the Kalmar stamp and an AACP stamp.

After the pottery closed Irene apparently went on to creating mosaic murals according to the Australian Women’s Weekly which has an article about her mural works in February 1962. I’ve only read about these mosaic murals and can not find any photos of them – so would love to hear from anyone who has a record of them…or any other information I can add to the Kalmar story.

 

Kalmar Australia Pottery Kalmar Australia Pottery Kalmar Australia Pottery Kalmar Australia Pottery Kalmar Australia Pottery

 

 

Stig Lindberg Aster

Stig Lindberg (1916-1982) was one of Sweden’s most important post war designers who created a number of now iconic 20th Century ceramic designs during his time with Gustavsberg Sweden.

One of the most striking I think is the Aster series of dinnerware he designed – which was released in 1972 in both red and blue variations. It was in production until 1974.

The combination of black outlining of the blue (or red) stylised aster forms really intensifies the boldness and attractiveness of the design. Especially with the contrast against the bright white of the porcelain. This use of black outlining to make a pattern “pop” can be seen in other designs by Lindberg such as “Bersa” (Green and Black)

The Aster series quickly became collectors items and was re-released by Gustavsberg in 2008 – but as with all re-releases, a slightly different pattern with updated forms and shapes. You can compare the original and new releases of the Aster design on the brilliant website of Mother Sweden 

 

Stig Lindberg Blue Aster, Gustavsberg

Stig Lindberg Blue Aster, Gustavsberg

Stig Lindberg Red Aster, Gustavsberg

Stig Lindberg Red Aster, Gustavsberg – Image via Lauritz.com

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Villeroy Boch Izmir

This bold and striking Middle Eastern influenced pattern with its lovely stylised floral elements and gorgeous blues and turquoise is Villeroy & Boch’s “Izmir”. It was produced between 1973-1975.

I have been unable to find who designed the pattern, but the design is on the “Milano” shapes, designed by Ludwig Scherer. This series of elegant, uncomplicated forms were used for a number of designs by Villeroy Boch between the 1960s -1990s including “Scarlett”, “Cadiz”, “Granada” and or course “Acapulco” and more.

Villeroy Boch Izmir

Villeroy Boch Izmir

Villeroy Boch Izmir

Villeroy Boch Izmir

Villeroy Boch Izmir

Villeroy Boch Izmir – Image via Scandiwegians Etsy

 Villeroy Boch Izmir

Villeroy Boch Izmir – Image via NordicVintageNL Etsy

Interestingly there was a re-iteration of the design which was produced by Villeroy & Boch 1994-2002.

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