Bjørre Pottery was a shorted lived, but important Norwegian pottery started in 1945 by Gunnar Remen and ceramist Egil Bjørnholt. The name consists of Bjørre Björ from Bjørnholt and re from Remen.
I have only ever come across 1 lovely item by this pottery – a large green patterned bowl pictured below.
Bjorre Keramikk had about 13-15 employees, including 8-10 decorators.
Production at Bjørre consisted of utilitarian and ornamental wares such as urns, platters, vases and pitchers. Most of the designs were quite decorative with charming repeat patterns.
Gunnar Remen traveled around the country with images of the ware, and sales were so good they had to move to larger premises soon after starting.
Sadly the whole production was destroyed by contamination in the imported glaze, and the company had to close down operations in 1951.
There is a facebook group for Bjørre Keramik on facebook HERE where you can see a whole lot more of the fantastic designs.
There is also an archived blog HERE with some more information and historical photos by Pål Matisplassen
The Elle Keramikk AS studio/factory operated in Norway near Oslo between 1942 and 1967. They produced a wide variety of pottery, but have become best known for their beautifully decorated, patterned fajance pieces. I used to come across the odd piece from time to time, but haven’t in a very long time now.
If you want to learn more about this charming pottery, go to the blog Elle Keramikk ,written by Trond Rødli (you will need to use an online translater platform for English).
Trond’s website has a comprehensive amount of information from years of collecting Elle pieces. The information includes many of the signatures, labels and hundreds of wonderful examples of Elle Keramik from this distinctive Norwegian Pottery.
Below are a few examples I found on Etsy. I can not locate the few archived images I had some years ago.
Elle Norway via “Coolect” on etsy
The delightful scene on this tall vinaigrette bottle form is by Turi Gramstad Oliver, for Figgjo Norway c1970.
It seems to be quite a rare design – depicting various scenes of village life. I have seen variations of it popping up very occasionally online – but I have been unable to find a name for the design – if it has one.
It may have been a design produced for decor pieces rather than a full production dinnerware line.
The line drawing for the design would have been silkscreened onto the clay, and the colours then hand painted to fill in the design.
If you have a piece in this design, or know any more about it I would love to hear from you.
Below, 2 variations of the designs I have found online: Read more
Stavangerflint Norway “Tiril”, Anne Lofthus
This charming design has a 1950s look about it I think, but is actually a 1960 design by Anne Lofthus (1932-2003) for Stavangerflint Norway, called Tiril.
You can find out a whole lot more about Anne Lofthus, including most of the patterns which she designed at Stavangerflint, on the hugely informative Stavangerflint research site HERE
She was employed at Stavangerflint 1959-1963, and from 1967 worked from her own studio where she was active until the mid 1990s.
The yellow border on “Tiril” is hand painted, and each piece has a slightly different intensity – partly from fading, and partly from the weight of the brush used when painting. The border on “Tiril” is similar to the style of many of the designs of Rorstrand from around the same time. Anne’s style is often easily recognisable through it’s references to Norwegian folk art and culture.
Stavangerflint Tiril Platter
Below: A variation of this design also came with a bluish green rim ( from the Stavangerflint site linked above ) Read more
Stavangerflint//Figgjo “Florry” 1960s
This is a design by Nils Aarrestad Siversten(b1920, Stavanger, Norway) called “Florry”. A stoneware (Ildfast) series. From what I can find the design dates to 1960 .
It was designed at Stavangerflint, and you can find some with the Stavangerflint stamp, and others with the Figgjo stamp – which means it was still in production when Figgjo and Stavangerflint merged in 1968.
Nils Siversten also designed for Stavangerflint “Amber”, “Bardu”, “Beito”, and “Karin” designs as well as a very popular series of decorative objects under the name of “Rondane”.
One of the charming features of this design is that the motif is a different colour on each side.
Figgjo Norway, Market
Figgjo Norway, “Market” was designed in 1963 by Turi Gramstad Oliver, straight after she had designed Lotte. Each shape of the Market series features a different scene of characters at food markets dressed in folk style costumes.
The colours are hues of green and yellow on a white ground. It was in production from 1966-1980.
In its era, Market was as popular as the Lotte design, but the most admired design of the two now, 60 years or so later, seems to be Lotte. Both Lotte and Market have a similar look and feel to them with their quirky and delightful characters, costumes and settings.
The design on every form is different, as is the case with Lotte. I haven’t yet come across a complete list of the forms in these series, but I continue to find a shapes that are new to me. Figgjo of this era was exported worldwide in large numbers – and especially to Australia, the U.S. and Canada where designs such as Market and Lotte are still very popular on the secondary market – but now to a whole new generation. Read more
Figgjo Norway, Annemarie
Kirsten Selmer Medgård designed the decor of Annemarie which was produced between 1971 and 1977. The form designers were Jørg Lion Nilsen and Ragnar Grimsrud who designed many of the forms for Figgjo in this era.
The pieces from the Kirsten Dekor series are typified by their bright, bold and colourful “flat” floral designs – but it seems the designs are much harder to find that Turi design pieces – perhaps made in smaller number due to the popularity of series like Lotte and Market.
Kirsten also design the stunning “Saturn” design for Figgjo which seems to be incredibly rare. It has equally bright, bold graphics in her distinctly “flat graphics” style – this time in stunning blue hues.
Figgjo AnneMarie Backstamp
Figgjo Lotte Norway, A Turi Design
“lotte”, a dinnerware service designed by Turi Gramstad Oliver, is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable and iconic Scandinavian patterns of the mid 20th Century.
It has a charm and popularity that has endured, and remains to this day immensely popular and collectable around the world…and especially here in Australia. It was in production from 1962 right up until 1985.
Turi Gramstad Oliver (b1938 -) started with Figgjo in 1960 and worked with them for over 20 years producing some of their most loved designs. She was trained as a ceramist by Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in Oslo 1956-1958, while working in the pottery studio of Kari Nyquist in Bergen until 1960 .
Before graduating she worked at Stavangerflint with Inger Waage. She also had workshop practice in Britain in 1961.
Soon after starting at Figgjo, Turi had designed Lotte, and there was a second release of the design in 1972 – which seems to be when most of the lotte which we come across these days is from.
Figgjo Lotte Teapot
Figgjo Lotte Milk Jugs
Figgjo Lotte Sugar Bowls
Figgjo Lotte Ramekin – Soup
Figgjo Lotte Plate
Figgjo Lotte Egg Cup
Figgjo Lotte Cup & Saucer
Figgjo Lotte Casserole
There isn’t a lot of difference between the look of the 2 series – but in the first series some pieces like the plates and soup bowls had rims or lips rather than a rimless or “coup” shape. The coup main plate is also about 1cm wider.