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Posts from the ‘Danish Studio Potters’ Category

Ady Kroyer, Denmark 1933-2016

Ady Krøyer, Denmark 1933-2016


This is a revised and updated edition of an article I originally wrote and published in 2015 with the assistance of Ady and Vibeke Rohland. Edited extracts of the original publication and additional archive material from Ady’s sons Bo and Per Kroyer can be seen on the website set up in memoriam at

I first came across Ady’s pottery in 2011 when I purchased in an auction “bay lot”, an elegant stoneware fajance jug with a stylish blue black and white geometric pattern – and “Ady” inscribed to the base (First image below).  I come across a lot of  pottery which is hard to identify, but pieces from an accomplished and experienced potters always shine and stand out from the rest – it often takes a long time however (if ever) for the maker  to be revealed…I was able to find a few other examples of Ady’s work online, but not much else to indicate who the maker was or any other clues.

Ady Kroyer, Fajance Jug, Photograph Ray Garrod

Ady Kroyer, Fajance Jug, Photograph Ray Garrod


Fortunately in June 2014 Vibeke Rohland – a designer in Copenhagen, contacted me through my blog when she found a blog post I had done which had a photograph of the jug, and she identified her Aunt Ady Kroyer as the maker. After that, with the assistance of Ady and Vibeke, I have had the privilege of a glimpse into the working life of a post WWII studio Potter in Denmark.

Ady in a way was like many other potter’s around the world working alone, who have had well established studios and careers but never seemed to achieve the public profile and recognition during their working life you would expect them to given the quality of their work. In the past year or so it has been great to see the level of interest in Ady’s work receiving new recognition and being re-discovered.

A brief biography:

Ady was born in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark 1933 – and from a young age demonstrated an artistic talent which resulted in her getting an apprenticeship at the age of 16 with Zeuthen Keramik  in 1949.

Zeuthen Keramik had been founded in 1946 at Gentofte , near Copenhagen by Normann Zeuthen, and traded under the named Zeuthen Keramik from 1948. The workshop employed around 10-15 people.  Zeuthen pottery became well known for its functional and domestic works in red clay decorated with motifs of flowers, stars, dots and other decorative motifs in white raised glaze or slip on the unglazed smooth red clay.

At Zeuthen, Ady showed great skill with the use of decorating with the traditional cow horn to apply slip or glaze , and was able to produce straight lines using this technique as well – a difficult skill to master.  This skill in decorating ceramics, which came from her love of drawing and painting, went on to make Ady a valuable member of each pottery she worked at during her apprenticeship years.

Part of the reason that Ady also jumped at the chance to work at Zeuthen was that she was allowed to stay after the working day to make her own ceramics, which enabled her to practice and develop  her skills further – especially those of wheel throwing, and further developing her own repertoire of patterns and decorations.

An early teapot by Ady, which I think shows the influence of Zeuthen Keramik with the use of a decorative pattern on a white satin glaze on red clay

Larholm  Keramik

After her time at Zeuthen, Ady went with her friend from Zeuthen – Birte Vedel Howard – to Norway and worked at Larholm Pottery, located in the town of Halden, very close to the Swedish border.  The pottery employed about 25 staff at its peak, and produced utilitarian wares of high decorative and aesthetic quality for both the local and export market.

Jani Keramik

At the age of 18 Ady moved to Jani Keramik, located in the town of Laholm, Sweden where her main work was to decorate the ceramics. Jani Keramik was a pottery of about 20 employees which operated from 1949 to 1970 – having been founded  by Jane Wahlstedt  and her husband Nils Larsson. Jani Keramik is well known for its’ use of bright colours, exotic  Mexican and African faces and figures, and other ethnographic and  exotic  plant and animal motifs which were hugely popular after WWII.

Some of the pottery at Jani Keramik was decorated using a technique of scratching into the clay called “Sgrafitto” and then filling these lines with glaze to build up the colour.  This technique appealed to Ady who often used it later in her own work.

Hegnetlund Lervarefabrik

Following her time at Jani, Ady moved on to Hegnetlund, a large old pottery and brickworks which was located in Koge , 39km southwest of Copenhagen. At Hegnetlund Ady’s role was primarily production wheel throwing, as well as performing some very heavy duties like loading the outside kilns with coal from large wheelbarrows.

Ady’s brief, and final placements as an apprentice were at Joska Keramik (which operated from 1939-1959) Copenhagen, (founded by Jonna Luthoft, Sven Nielsen, Karen Margrethe  Karberg) and finally a short stint at the large Lyngby Porcelaensfabrik factory.


Ady Krøyer The Studio Potter

After her 4 years as an apprentice, in 1954 Ady moved into her own workshop in Rodovre near Copenhagen, but she soon realised that a larger kiln and premises were necessary if she was to make a living from pottery.

She found the perfect location near Roskilde about 30km from Copenhagen in a former millhouse. Here she worked full time until about 1975, when muscular rheumatism made it difficult for her to continue as a potter, although she produced some ceramics until the early 1990s when she finally closed her studio. From 1975, Ady also taught ceramics locally in Roskilde for 12 years or so which both she and her students found enjoyable and rewarding.

The first series of work which Ady produced in the 1950s as a professional potter, was a yellow and black design in various patterns and shapes. This proved to be a popular and enduring design.

Ady Krøyer, Early work.

Those designs were followed by black and white motifs as pictured in the first 2 images below – this style was very fashionable during the 1950s and 1960s across all types of visual arts.

Ady Kroyer Denmark

Ady Krøyer, Håndrejet krukke i blåler med sort matglasur udvendig og stregdekora- tion i hvid tinglasur. Indvendig hvid tinglasur. Iltende brand 1020. Diameter 42,5 cm. / H. 19,5 cm. Tekst: Keramiker Tine Møller-Lauesen Foto: Fotograf Kurt Rodahl Hoppe

Håndrejet krukke i blåler med sort matglasur udvendig og stregdekora- tion i hvid tinglasur. Indvendig hvid tinglasur. Iltende brand 1020. Diam- eter 42,5 cm. / H. 19,5 cm.Tekst: Keramiker Tine Møller-Lauesen Foto: Fotograf Kurt Rodahl Hoppe


Then came the colourful, complex patterns applied on the top of a satin white glaze, which were produced into the 1970s. Both the forms and the decorations show a whole new level of sophistication and growth by Ady as an artist and potter.

Håndrejede kander med påmalet begittedekoration i forskel- lig indfarvning og indridset mønster. Indvendig sort mat glasur. Udvendig transparent matglasur. Iltende brand 1020. Mål: Stor: D. 40 cm. H. 24,5 cm./ Lille: D 33 cm./ H. 17,5 cm. Tekst: Keramiker Tine Møller-Lauesen Foto: Fotograf Kurt Rodahl Hoppe

2 håndrejede fade i blåler hvidbegittede. Påmalet dekoration i forskellige begitninger suppleret med indridsninger og påmalede streger i oxyd. Glaseret med mat transparent glasur. Iltende brand 1020. Mål: Lille. D. 14,5 cm. H 3,5 cm. / Stor. D 27,8 cm H. 4,5 cm.Tekst: Keramiker Tine Møller-Lauesen Foto: Fotograf Kurt Rodahl Hoppe


Håndrejet krus i helbegitning med penseldekora- tion i indfarvet begitning og indridsning til skærv glaseret med transperant matglasur. Iltende brand. Temp 1020.Mål: D 8,5 cm / H 10 cm.Tekst: Keramiker Tine Møller-Lauesen Foto: Fotograf Kurt Rodahl Hoppe

Håndrejede skål i blåler. Tilskåret overkant. Helbegittet. Indvendig penseldekoration i blå begitning med indridsning gennem begitningen og påmalede streger i manganoxyd. Ud- vendig sort mat glasur. Iltende brand 1020.Mål fra spids til spids 15 cm. H. 7,5 cm. Tekst: Keramiker Tine Møller-Lauesen Foto: Fotograf Kurt Rodahl Hoppe


Some of my personal favourite forms by Ady are the beautiful bulbous forms below.

They are such elegant organic forms, really well complimented by the elegantly cured neck and flared aperture – like a baby bird’s open beak.

De 2 brunstribede vaser (forrest) blåler med hvid helbegittet korpus. Penseldekorationd i jernbegitning med indridsning i strøgene og stregdekorationen med manganoxyd. Den blåstribede håndrejede vase med udkravet munding hvdbegittet korpus med penseldekoration i forskellige begittefarver og indrid- sninger i blå begitning. Fælles for alle 3 glaseret med halvmat transparent glasur. Iltende brand 1020.
Mål: Lysbrun/ diameter 46 cm. / H. 18 cm. Blå diam- eter 52 cm. / H 19,5 cm. / Mørkbrun diameter 46 cm. / H. 19,5 cm.Tekst: Keramiker Tine Møller-Lauesen Foto: Fotograf Kurt Rodahl Hoppe


Håndrejet vase i rødler med udrandet åbning.
Dekoration: Påført manganoxyd med indridsninger til skærv og senere påsmurt en anelse transparent glasur. Senere aftørret. Indvendig; kobber- glasur. Iltende brand 1020. Mål: diameter bredeste sted 54 cm. H.23,5 cm.Tekst: Keramiker Tine Møller-Lauesen Foto: Fotograf Kurt Rodahl Hoppe

Ady Kroyer’s pottery can be easily recognized with “Ady” hand carved to the base. For about a period of about 1 year only Ady used her married name and you may come across pottery inscribed Ady in the centre, with Kroyer Johansen carved around it.

Stor hånddrejet skål helbegittet, med penseldekoration i indfarvet begitning og yderligere stregdekoration udført med sleppert (sær- lige pensel). Detalje: dekoration i midten af indvendig bund i store skål. Manganoxyd, mat transparentglasur. Iltende brand 1020. Mål: D 25 cm. / H 15,5 cm.. Tekst: Keramiker Tine Møller-Lauesen Foto: Fotograf Kurt Rodahl Hoppe

4 hånddrejede krukker med tilskårne øvre kant. Blåler med dekoration i indfarvet begitning med indridsninger (den turkise og gule). De øvrige 2; hvidbegittet med penseldekorationer i jernoxyd og manganoxyd. Iltende brand, 1020.
Mål:1. D 8,5 cm. H 16,5 cm. 2.D 6,5 cm. H 15 cm. 3. D 14 cm. H 19 cm. 4. D 6,5 cm. H 6,5 cm. Tekst: Keramiker Tine Møller-Lauesen Foto: Fotograf Kurt Rodahl Hoppe

One of my favourite photos of Ady’s work is the one below – by Vibeke Rohland – a simple, quiet shot taken on a window sill in Copenhagen.

Ady Kroyer Bowl, Photo by Vibeke Rohland.

R.I.P. Ady Krøyer, and many thanks to Vibeke Rohland, Tine Møller-Lauesen and Kurt Rodahl Hoppe for all their efforts in putting this together.


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Jette Hellerøe & Einer Hellerøe, Denmark

Jette Hellerøe + Einer Hellerøe, Denmark

Jette Hellerøe: (b. 1940) Became a ceramist after studying at the Copenhagen school of fine arts in 1960. Her Father was Einer Hellerøe, and Jette worked at her father’s factory before, during and after completing her degree. At her Father’s pottery she also produced work under her own name.

Einer’s studio was called Haslev Keramik, founded in 1940, and was located in Haslev – a town in the southern part of Sjælland/Zealand.( The correct spelling of Einer’s name has been confirmed. It is often seen written as Einar, but Einer is the correct version)

Jette worked at Haslev Keramik until 1972, and then moved to Lønstrup (northern Jutland in Denmark) with her husband Flemming Schouboe where they set up their own pottery and shop. Flemming helped with the production, especially handling the firing processes and the glaze, but did not create work under his own name.   This studio operated up  until 2001.

Jette is also known for the work she produced for BR Keramik and Axella Keramik. BR stands for Brothers Rasmussen – a wholesaler of ceramics, who had a number of ceramicists produce work for them, and release it under the BR brand.

I have recently been able to solve a long running mystery about mid-century Danish Ceramics thanks to Jette’s granddaughter Sofie.

It is often been thought that Jette might have designed the now iconic “Amazonas” dinnerware for BR Keramik…but puzzlingly it was often signed EH – and has often been mis-attributed to Danish Potter, Eigil Hinrichsen – which I have always had doubts about.

I can confirm that Amazonas was in fact designed and made by Jette’s father Einer Hellerøe, around 1958, hence the EH cypher. The EH cypher Einar used is quite different to that of Eigil Hinrichsen (as well as the style of work) – but the mis-attribution seems to have spread widely. Further on I have some images of other works with Einar’s cypher for BR Keramik.

Amazonas Design, BR Keramik, Design Einar Hellerøe

Amazonas Design, BR Keramik, Designer and Maker Einer Hellerøe. Photo Ray Garrod

One of Jette’s best known series of dinnerware designs in her own pottery is the “Parana” series:

Jette Hellerøe Denmark

Jette Hellerøe Denmark – from her “Parana” series. Photo Ray Garrod

Jette Helleroe Parana Series

Jette Helleroe Parana Series – Photo via CopenhagenBlack on Etsy

Jette Hellerøe for Axella Denmark

Jette Hellerøe for Axella Denmark , photo via DanishMood Etsy

Jette Hellerøe Denmark

Jette Hellerøe Denmark, Own Studio, Photo Ray Garrod

Among Jette’s most valued pieces now however are the lamps and lamp bases she produced for Axella.

Jette Helleroe Lamp Shade

Jette Helleroe Lamp Shade for Axella Denmark – Photo by DanishVintageDesigns Etsy.

Jette Hellerøe for Axella Denmark

Jette Hellerøe for Axella Denmark. Photo via VintageDanishDesigns Etsy


After the page break more about Einar Hellerøe

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Dybdahl Denmark

This article is a combination//summary of articles about Dybdahl Pottery, Denmark which I had posted on the previous incarnation of this website.

Further information will be added as I edit and add new information and photographs about the Dybdahl Pottery – much of it from the assistance of kind people who have helped me with over the past years including Belinda, Leif, Andy, Lasse and many more. A small book is eventually planned collating all of the information and photographs which have been gathered together.

Dybdahl Pottery, Denmark is one of the first Danish Potteries that really grabbed my attention. The patterns, decoration and unique nature of the forms and designs captivated me over 15 years ago when I first discovered it, and I continue to find new forms and decorations which I haven’t seen previously.

Briefly, Margrethe Dybdahl (1916-1999) worked together with her husband Palle Dybdahl (1918-2001) in their workshops in North Zealand, in the town of Allerød. Palle was educated as a potter at Holbæk Pottery Factory. He then studied at the Danish Design School where he graduated in 1936. He was also later a teacher at the Danish Design School for a period.

Margrethe was educated at the Rostrup-Boyesen Art School 1934-1936 and the Danish Design School 1936-1937 where she met Palle. Margrethe was never a potter but a very accomplished painter and decorator of pottery. It is probably the quirkiness and unique gentleness of many of her designs which attract me – she was able to communicate such joy and feeling with her painting and design.

Below: My first ever piece of Dybdahl Pottery – a stunning large teapot, beautifully decorated and constructed.

Dybdahl Denmark Teapot

Dybdahl Denmark Teapot, Photo Ray Garrod

Palle and Margrethe had started up their first workshop together in Hørsholm 1952-1959. They had 2 to 3 apprentices here. They bought their house in Allerød circa 1958 and established a workshop in what was previously a stable next to the house. The house is located in a beautiful area surrounded by woods and was probably the inspiration for many of Margrethe’s nature motifs (insects, bees, spiders, birds, leaf patterns, etc.). They lived and worked here until they died, both at age 83, two years apart.

Dybdahl cat vase

Dybdahl cat vase, photo Ray Garrod

Dybdahl Milk Jug

Dybdahl Milk Jug – Photo Ray Garrod

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