Arne Bang, Jacob Bang – Denmark
Arne Bang (1901-1983)
Arne Bang is known for his exquisite stoneware ceramics, but he was also an important sculptor and silversmith.
It is the ceramics of Arne Bang which I am attracted to. His focus was on technical excellence and innovation – and the uniqueness and beauty of his designs are as relevant today as they were in the 1940s.
Arne was the brother of glass designer and architect Jacob E. Bang – who is often confused and whos work is often mis-attributed to Arne’s son Jacob Bang (1932-2011) also a potter, sculptor and designer.
Arne was formally trained in Sculpture, after which he had a very successful collaboration with ceramicist Carl Halier – it was with Halier that Bang learned extensively about glazes.
In 1929 Arne Bang started at Holmegaard Glassworks, where he started up the production of Holmegaards Stentøj (Stoneware). His aim was to create quality ceramics which collectors would appreciate, but which the every day person could also afford.
From 1948 Holmegaard Stentøj became Bangs’ own company, but from 1953 he worked from his own workshop in Fensmark, Denmark.
The work of Arne Bang has a very sculptural quality and unique presence. His work is enhanced by the use of superbly textured glazes in muted luxurious tones. Some of these glazes are often referred to as “crocodile” or “birds egg” glazes.
His forms are often very organic with sensuous, bulbous shapes – and he often the use of ribbing as a decorative feature. Some pieces were also designed with silver components such as lids, spoons etc – in collaboration with silversmiths.
On most Arne Bang studio pieces you will find a model number painted on the base – the lower the number, the earlier the piece. The studio pieces are also signed with a distinctive AB signature.
You can read more about the Bangs at the Bang Family Website HERE (in Danish)
There is also comprehensive Arne Bang Database online via the Vejen Art Musuem in Denmark, which even has some early Arne Bang Catalogues – especially interesting are the 1932 & 1937 catalogues.
Jacob Bang (1932-2011)
Jacob Bang was a Danish ceramicist, designer and sculptor and the son of Arne Bang. He was primarily trained in his father’s Fensmark studio which he later took over (1965-81).
In his early career he worked for 6 months or so with Bjørn Wiinblad (1955) and as a designer at Hegnetslund Lervarefabrik (1957-62). From 1981 he work exclusively with Sculpture and Art, and he had a workshop in Copenhagen from 1981-91 where he worked from.
Work made by Jacob while working in Arne Bang’s studio will have both the Arne Bang studio cypher – AB – and Jacob written above it.
Jacob was well represented at Den Permanente in Copenhagen, which I have written about previously.
The first image below of a piece I have by Jacob, is a very elegant candle holder which appears to be a very early piece, using one of Arne Bang’s glazes.