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Amphora Pottery Czechoslovakia

Seeing the piece of Amphora pottery in the first image below at an auction recently reminded me how good this early 20th Century maker is.

Amphora is highly desirable amongst collectors, but not that well known to the general public. The pieces from this pottery display extremely high levels of craftsmanship with their superb and often very detailed decor in the Art Nouveau style. Works often feature “tube-lining” and a matt glaze area with a sandy texture as in the examples here – but there is a huge variety of styles and finishes.

Amphora Porcelain Works ran from 1892-1945 in the Tepliz-Turn area of Bohenmia, now Trnovany in the Czech Republic. Prior to WW1 Bohemia was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Amphora Czechoslovakia Vase

Amphora Czechoslovakia Vase

The next 2 images are of a piece I had some time ago which has a strong “Arts & Crafts” feel about the way it is decorated. Read more

Hjorth Denmark, Part 2

There is so much more to Hjorth Pottery than the commonly seen Art Nouveau style terracotta coloured pottery.

Many artists, potters and designers have been associated with the factory, creating a huge diversity of styles.

One of the most influential ceramicists at Hjorth was Gertrud Kudielka was born in Bohemia (Czechoslovakia). She was a visiting artist 1930-1931, 1934-1936 and 1938-1939. After WWII she fled her homeland and moved to Denmark where she became a citizen in 1957.

Some other important Hjorth artists are:

Holger Drachmann (painter/poet 1846-1908)
Kristian Zahrtmann (painter 1888-1968)
Gertrud Kudielka (1896-1984)
Adam Fischer (1888-1968)(sculptor)
Lisbeth Munch-Petersen (1909-1997)
Ursula Munch-Petersen (1937-)
Jane Reumert (1942-2016
Ulla Gahrn (1937 – )
Eva Sjögren (1930-2008)

But there were many more including visiting artists and ceramicists.

Hjorth Bowl - Design by Gertrud Kudielka

Hjorth Bowl – Design by Gertrud Kudielka – typical of her decorative patterns with a folk look to the design.

Hjorth Bowl - Design by Gertrud Kudielka

Hjorth Bowl – Design by Gertrud Kudielka

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Hjorth Denmark, Part 1

The Hjorth Factory was located in Roenne on Bornholm, and island off Denmark, founded in 1859 . It operated until 1993 and then re-openend in 1995 as a working museum. For much of its history it was operated by descendants of Lautriz Hjorth, its original founder.

In the 1880’s Hjorth pottery was being sold in the department stores of Paris, London and Berlin, and as far away as Australia and the United States.

Danish Pottery, 1876 Art Journal

Danish Pottery, 1876 Art Journal

The image above is   from “The Art Journal 1876”. The engraving is entitled “Pottery of Denmark” which “has obtained large estimation in England and is highly valued in America” quotes the notation on the page, and goes on to say “the more prominent productions of Denmark are either copies from or adaptions of the forms and ornamentation of Etruria”

The pottery is not named, but some of it is early HJORTH pottery as in the Hjorth Catalogue for 1884. Read more

Royal Copenhagen Picnic

My interest in 20th Century ceramics starts to wane a bit in the late 1970s, but occasionally I come across interesting designs or stories from later.

This is a Royal Copenhagen design you don’t see that often, but was very popular when it was released in the early 1980s. The design is called “Picnic”.  Strangely enough it is a design that rarely turns up nowadays.  To me it typifies the flat, clean and bright design of the 1980s.

There were 6 different patterns in this series, with the forms designed by Grethe Meyer, and the graphics by Ole Kortzau. Interestingly, both of these designers initially worked as Architects but are now better known for their work in other design fields.

Royal Copenhagen "Picnic" - 1980s

Royal Copenhagen "Picnic" - 1980s

Royal Copenhagen “Picnic” – 1980s

Royal Copenhagen "Picnic" - 1980s

Royal Copenhagen “Picnic” – 1980s – Backstamps

Ole Kortzau is well known for his series of Danish beachscape postcards from the 1970’s-1980’s which obviously influenced the bright, fresh designs of “Picnic”. He also designed for Georg Jensen, Holmegaard, Kvadrat amongst others. Read more

Gem Pottery – Gemma DeRidder & The Carmelite Nuns

Carmel Pottery Adelaide, Gemma DeRidder

Carmel Pottery began around 1959 after the Carmelite Nuns at their Adelaide Glen Osmond Convent were taught the techniques of throwing, glazing and firing by a former graduate of the South Australian School of Arts and Crafts Thelma Fisher, who had learnt her technique from Kelly Koster of Kosters Pottery.

Koster had a precise and mathematical approach to throwing forms on the wheel, and this technique was passed down through Fisher to the Carmelite Nuns.

It was the simplicity of form, and sense of perfection about the pieces which first attracted me to the work of the Nuns. Originally 2 sisters were taught by Thelma Fisher – sister Gemma DeRidder and Sister St John.

Their work was sold from the convent as “Carmel” Pottery. Gemma went on to teach some of the other Nun’s the basic skills, and a productive pottery resulted. Gemma applied for a Churchill Fellowship to study ceramics further overseas during this period, but was rejected on the basis that she was a Nun.

Gemma left the convent in the late 1970’s to set up her own pottery under the name of Carmel-Gem in the southern suburbs of Adelaide. I’m not sure when the Carmel Pottery at the Convent ceased production, but It was still operating in the 1980’s.

In 2008 the beautiful convent and its massive grounds with olive groves was closed and later sold.

Gemma developed and experimented with techniques including a beautiful banding pattern by created by experimenting with combinations of oxides, which became a her signature style. Gemma also experimented with clay bodies by adding beach sand to achieve the perfect texture. She made a wide variety of wares including dinner setttings, canisters, sculptural pieces, vases etc.

Gemma DeRidder, Large Vase

Gemma DeRidder, Large Vase

Gemma DeRidder, Lidded Jar, Fish Symbol

Gemma DeRidder, Lidded Jar, Fish Symbol

Gemma DeRidder, Lidded Jar with Banding

Gemma DeRidder, Lidded Jar with Banding

Gemma DeRidder, Lidded Bowl, Chattering Pattern

Gemma DeRidder, Lidded Bowl, Chattering Pattern

Gemma DeRidder, Jar with Banding

Gemma DeRidder, Jar with Banding

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