Skip to content

Posts from the ‘European Makers’ Category

Tilgman’s Sweden

Tilgman’s Sweden

Tilgman’s ceramics was a pottery just outside the city of Gothenburg Sweden, operating from c1948-1975.  In its heyday it employed about 80 staff.

It was started by Paul Harald Tilgmann (1904-1974) and in its early years was known for animal figurines, but today it is the style developed by artistic director at Tilgmans, Marian Zawadzki (1912-1978), which has come to define the “look” of Tilgman’s output. Most of this work is from the 1950s, and appears soon after Marian started with Tilgman’s in 1953 as a Polish refugee.

Marian developed a technique using a sgrafitto – of carving fine lines into the background of a design through a light coloured glaze, down to a dark grey clay slip. This created a unique textured ground which has become a style associated with Tilgman’s. The decorative elements also appear to outlined with a carved line, and then hand painted with overglazes. Birds, Fish, Flowers, Butterflies and other animals were a common theme.

This style and technique proved to be so popular it was also used by other Swedish potteries for a time – including Alingsås Ceramics and Nila Ceramics (in the town of Alingsas)

Tilgmans Sweden Bowl

Tilgmans Sweden Bowl, via PotsAndLamps Etsy

Tilgmans Sweden Bowl

Tilgmans Sweden Bowl photo via BotanyBoutique Etsy

Tilgmans Sweden

Tilgmans Sweden – Photo via 20thCenturyStudio Etsy

Tilgmans Sweden Bow

Tilgmans Sweden Bowl Photo via FrostyVintage Etsy

Tilgmans Lamp Base

Tilgmans Lamp Base photo via Timeless Ceramics eBay

At the end of the 1960s and early 1970s, the pottery style produced at Tilgman’s was a darker and more rustic style, popular at the time in Scandinavia. The 1960s works by Marian Zawadzki from Tilgmans in this era often have bold, abstract designs – and although very different from his earlier, more delicate work, are equally as striking.  Read more


Braemore Carstens

Braemore Carstens

Some die hard fans of West German Pottery will know that the Carstens brand was produced under license in Australia during mid 1960s by Braemore Australia…but it is not a very well known fact…and it can lead to confusion when identifying West German pottery sometimes.

Judith from the Australian Pottery 1960s to date blog has a comprehensive post full of useful information about the history of Australian pottery Braemore and its relationship with Carstens, and also with the company Haeger.

Braemore Pottery was opened in 1939 and ran until around 1985 producing pottery under its own label plus the Braemore Carstens label from the 1960s.

One of the most coveted Carstens designs was – Ankara. Designed in 1964 by Von Scholtis it was produced in both Germany and Australia – and is now a very sought after Carsten’s design.

German versions of the Ankara design were made using a reddish-brown clay, but a white clay was used in Australian production.

Braemore Carstens pieces are marked with an embossed B-C and the model number as in the image below.

Braemore Carstens Ankara Design

Braemore Carstens Ankara Design

Braemore Carstens Ankara Design

Braemore Carstens Stamp

Braemore Carstens Ankara Stamp

Below are some other fantastic designs I have had from the Braemore-Carstens label: Read more

Royal Tettau Ria

Royal Tettau Ria Design

Royal Tettau is a German/Bavarian Porcelain manufacturer with a long history starting in 1794. I found quite a concise and comprehensive history about it HERE, with all the backstamps!

This very stylish design by Royal Tettau dates to between 1954 to 1968 and from what I can see, the forms of this series are called “Ria”, and the pattern is  “no. 1347, grauer Rand” (Grey Border), although these 2 terms are often transposed online and you can often find it simply called “Ria” and in Germany “Ria, 1347 Grauer Rand”

The lovely line pattern reminds me of Jessie Tait’s Midwinter “Sienna” design. The shapes are very elegant, stylish and speak of the 1950’s.

Royal Tettau Ria 1347

Royal Tettau Ria 1347

Royal Tettau Ria 1347

Royal Tettau Ria 1347 via “FromTheSeller” Etsy

Read more

Rorstrand Sweden “Amanda”, Christina Campbell

Rorstrand “Amanda” – Designer, Christina Campbell.

Christina Campbell , (b1940) Sweden is a Swedish graphic artist and printmaker. She studied both as a Graphic Designer, and Ceramicist (Konstindustololan avd. Ceramics Gothenburg 1961 – 1965 (now HDK), Grafikskolan Forum Malmö 1968 – 1972). 

She worked for Rörstrand Swedn 1966-1972, where she created the designs: Amanda, Agda, Pyret, Tobias, Klunk, Glunt, Augusta, Mamsell, Laban and Karolina.

I have only recently discovered “Amanda”. The design was in production at Rorstrand from 1968-77.

It is on the same forms as many other designs during this era, and I really like the way Christina uses blue and brown hues together in this design. I also really like the graphic elements on “Amanda” – and how the pattern suits the forms so well. Equally I love the graphic boldness of “Tobias” by Christina.

Since her time at Rorstrand, Christina has mainly devoted herself to graphics and etching. Her work is well represented in Museums and Galleries in Sweden and Denmark, and she has held over 50 exhibitions since the 1970s. You can visit her current website HERE


Rorstrand "Amanda" Creamer & Sugar Bowl

Rorstrand “Amanda” Creamer & Sugar Bowl

Rorstrand "Amanda" Bowl

Rorstrand “Amanda” Bowl

Rorstrand "Amanda" Casserole

Rorstrand “Amanda” Casserole

Rorstrand "Amanda" Casserole

Rorstrand “Amanda” Casserole, Top View

Rorstrand "Amanda" Backstamp

Rorstrand “Amanda” Backstamp

The designs by Christina,  apart from “Amanda” seem to be hard to get hold of, but I did spot 3 of them on Etsy Read more

Hertha Bengtson – Scandic Shadow, Thomas Germany

Hertha Bengtson, b 1917 – d1993 , was a Swedish ceramicist and designer. She worked for Hackefors porcelain factory , Rörstrand Porcelain Factory (23 years) , Höganäs AB Ceramics and Strömbergshyttan Glassworks .

During the years 1969-1981 she worked in Germany designing for Thomas (part of the Rosenthal Group). Her most famous designs are those from her years at Rorstrand, but there are also many outstanding but lesser known designs from her time at Thomas – including this fabulous lime green variation of the “Scandic Shadow” series, usually referred to as simply “Scandic” – of which there are a large number of colour and design variations.

Her other important design at Thomas was the restaurant ware design TH300, and for Rosenthal (the parent company of Thomas) she design “Caldo Freddo” – a beautifully patterned design.

Scandic Shadow Green is a bold colour combination of an intense lime green, with deep blue rims – and it all works so well together on the fantastic forms of domed lids, and bulbous bodies.

Thomas Germany, Scandic Shadow Green, Tea Cup

Thomas Germany, Scandic Shadow Green, Tea Cup

Thomas Germany, Scandic Shadow Green, Eared Soup Bowl & Plate

Thomas Germany, Scandic Shadow Green, Eared Soup Bowl & Plate

Read more

Upsala Ekeby Kosmos – Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby Kosmos – Berit Ternell

The Kosmos series was designed by Berit Ternell, for Upsala Ekeby-Gefle (Sweden) and produced between 1966 – 1977.

I love the shapes, and the glaze colour of a deep transparent blue with the brown clay showing through on the ridges.

Kosmos came in 2 colour décors – this blue/brown and a green/brown which is much less common.

The following background on Berit Ternell I’ve managed to glean from the Swedish Wikipedia and the Upsala Ekeby Museum site .

Berit Ternell began an apprenticeship at the age of 15 as an apprentice in ceramic design at Stenebyskolan, continuing education she had received at the Society for Industrial school in Gothenburg . She was an intern at Upsala-Ekeby Ltd. and also worked abroad during the 1950s including some time at TG Green in the UK. She was also employed at Bofajans before she worked for a long period be 1957 – 1971 at Gävle Porslinsfabrik where she was chief designer. After working at Gävle, Berit taught at the Industrial Art School (HDK) in Gothenburg for over 20 years. She was also affiliated with the Rorstrand and Reijmyre glassworks. During the 1960s. Berit received a number of scholarships and awards for her designs, including an international award for KOSMOS in Holland in 1967.

Upsala Ekeby - Kosmos Teapot, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby – Kosmos Teapot, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby - Kosmos Cup/Saucer, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby – Kosmos Cup/Saucer, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby - Kosmos Milk Jug, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby – Kosmos Milk Jug, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby - Kosmos Plate, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby – Kosmos Plate, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby - Kosmos Backstamp, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby – Kosmos Backstamp, Berit Ternell

I have been unable to find an image of the green “Kosmos”, however the same forms of Kosmos were also used on a design called “Cuba” during the same production period. The glaze is a matt speckled  brown – very similar in tones and variations to Arabia Finland “Ruska”. Read more

Villeroy Boch Acapulco

Villeroy Boch Acapulco

“Acapulco” released by Villeroy & Boch in 1967  is one the brightest and most colourful dinnerware patterns of the 20th Century, and is still highly popular on the secondary market. The design was in production until 1994.

It inspired many look alike designs by other companies riding on its popularity.

This colourful and now iconic design was created by Christiane Reuter – said to be inspired by paintings she saw on a visit to Mexico.

Acapulco Casserole

Acapulco Casserole

The body or forms the design is on is called “Milano” , designed by Ludwig Scherer, and these forms were used for a number of designs by Villeroy Boch between the 1960s -1990s including “Scarlett”, “Cadiz” and “Granada”. “Scarlett” was designed by Reuter, but I can not find a list of other designs she produced for V&B during this period.

Acapulco Trio

Acapulco Trio

Acapulco Casserole Detail

Acapulco Casserole Detail

Acapulco Setting at an Auction

Acapulco Setting at an Auction

The blue backstamp on Acapulco is from the early years, and the brown backstamp from the 1980s until production ceased. Given its huge popularity, the design was re-worked and released on new forms, and altered designs c2000 as “New Wave” . The term “dishwasher safe” was added in 1992, and Read more

Maria Philippi – Soholm Designs

Maria Philippi – Soholm

In the previous article you saw some of the fabulous studio work by Maria Philippi. This post is about her work with Soholm Pottery, Bornolm Denmark where she worked 1962-1964 as a designer.  Her designs there were so popular that they went on being produced well into the 1970s.

Maria created a number of designs at Soholm in her 2 years there as a designer – and the images featured here are probably her best known designer from her time with Soholm – and the ones that you will come across most often.

One of the most beautiful, and best known designs by Maria is “Nordlys” (Northern Lights) and you can see why it is called that in some of the lovely colour flares and runs on the Nordlys pieces in the first set of images.

Soholm Nordlys Teapot - Maria Philippi

Soholm Nordlys Teapot – Maria Philippi

Soholm Nordlys Vase - Maria Philippi

Soholm Nordlys Vase – Maria Philippi

Soholm Nordlys Dish - Maria Philippi

Soholm Nordlys Dish – Maria Philippi

Soholm Nordlys Bud Vase, Maria Philippi

Soholm Nordlys Bud Vase, Maria Philippi


Another popular series by Maria is “Granit” – which came in both a blue and a brown glaze. The blue glaze is typical of many at this time from Soholm where on the sharper edges and rims the glaze turns a caramel colour. Read more