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Bertoncello, Italy

Bertoncello Italy

Bertoncello Ceramiche was founded in Schiavon, Vicenza, Italy c1956.

For many years it was run solely by a Mr. Lini and Giovanni Bertoncello (1930-2011), but by the 1970s had a staff of around 30.

Giovanni was the creative force behind the forms and glazes, supported later by a Mr. Boatto – a Venetian teacher.

Sadly not a lot is known about the company because all its catalogues and archives were destroyed when the company closed in 1999. Fortunately due to its popularity and volume made, it is still relatively easy to get hold of.

The forms of Bertoncello pottery are often very sculptural and geometric and look like smaller studies or maquettes for massive modernist sculptures that are yet to be built. This sculptural appearance of many pieces was enhanced by the use of feet which subtly raise the piece off the surface on which it sits.

Bertoncello Italy

Bertoncello Italy

 

Bertoncello Italy

Other types of pottery such as homewares, figurines and novelty items were made, often in bright colours such as red or orange – but it is the sculptural modernist looking vase forms which Bertoncello has become best known for. Read more

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Richard Manz, Denmark

Richard Manz, Denmark

Richard Manz (1933-1999), husband of Danish ceramicist icon Bodil Manz.

In earlier years Richard worked in Sweden, and even at Gustavsberg for a time. He also studied under Peter Voulkos at Berkeley University of California with his wife Bodil in the late 1960s.

In 1967 he started a studio with his wife Bodil in Starreklinte, Odsherred. They produced several joint works including murals and large sculptural pieces in addition to developing their individual styles. During this period Richard also produced work for Knabstrup pottery in Denmark. You can see some of them on this page

In the mid 1970s they both lived in the town of Arita, Japan for a while – learning the skill of working with very fine translucent porcelain.

The first piece below is one I bought at auction some time ago. I think demonstrates Richard’s mastery of the cylindrical form, for which he (and Bodil) have become so well known for.

While it is a stoneware piece, it is beautifully thin and fine and has been fired to the upper limit for stoneware (around 1300c) making it very hard (and giving it a beautiful sound if you “ping” it) .

The piece displays an obvious mastery of form and the beautifully controlled textures and glazes. I am guessing it would be from the early 1970s.

Richard Manz Denmark

Richard Manz Denmark

Richard Manz Denmark

Richard Manz for Knabstrup, Denmark

Richard Manz for Knabstrup, Denmark

Richard Manz for Knabstrup, Denmark

Richard Manz for Knabstrup, Denmark

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Maigonis Daga

Maigonis Daga

Maigonis (Mike) Daga (1923-2001) was born in Latvia, and immigrated to Australia in 1948 as a refugee, where he attended the Adelaide School of Art studying sculpture.

From 1954-1964 he ran a successful commercial pottery studio in Adelaide, after which he re-located to Minneapolis in the U.S. opening a studio there around 1970. His sons continued to run the studio after his death until very recently. (The last record I can find of it operating is in 2008)

His earlier Australian work consisted of modernist, slip cast forms which this ewer style vase typifies, but he is more widely known in the U.S. for his sculptural animal forms on granite plinths. Some of these figurines have a modernist look to them, others a more traditional look.

His work is usually signed “Daga” to the base most often.

His Australian pieces are also very similar stylistically to those of Gunda Pottery made around the same time in Melbourne by fellow Latvian, Gundars Lusis…although I find the pieces from Gunda are a bit more streamlined and refined in their forms and finishes.

It was in the U.S. where Daga really refined his style.

The above was first published on my previous website retropottery.net on May 15, 2014 and has been coped without permission onto at least 1 other website I have found. 

Maigonis Daga Ewer Vase Read more

Hornsea “Springtime”

Hornsea Springtime

This striking and now very collectable design is by John Clappison 1964-1965 for Hornsea.

It’s fresh, vibrant, cheerful design I think captures the optimism of the era, and is so much of its time. It has become hard to get hold of these days, and hence relatively expensive if you do come across it.

It was a tableware range decorated with either dark green or orange flowers with pale blue leaves, impressed into a white ground.

The range consisted of canisters, cruets, preserve pots, butter dishes, jugs and coffee mugs as well as other items of tableware.

Some of the items had plastic lids, like the canister in the first image, and others were all ceramic. The lids were either aqua blue or yellow.

.Hornsea Springtime

Hornsea Springtime

Hornsea Springtime

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Hornsea Muramic

Hornsea Muramic

I was reminded of this fantastic retro design recently when I found some interesting variations of the design on Etsy.

The full name of the design is Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic, “Muramic” .

It was made at the Hornsea Lancaster site 1977-1980, where the the award wining “Contrast” design amongst others was also made.

There are a number of different designs within the “Muramic” series, but the most commonly seen items are variations of the round shallow dish.

Other products included some fantastic wall plaques like the one pictured below, and even jewellery (very hard to find now)

Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic "Muramic" Design

Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic “Muramic” Design variation.

Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic "Muramic" Design

Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic "Muramic" Design Variation

Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic “Muramic” Design Variation via VintageGirlUK on Etsy

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P. Ipsens Enke Denmark, Dekorativglasur

P. Ipsens Enke Denmark, Dekorativglasur  

Below are 2 pieces of P. Ipsen’s Enke Pottery I purchased some time ago. Until I saw these pieces in person, I thought this style was far too garish and brightly coloured.

However in real life the colours are more subtle and elegant, and the quality of the pieces (even though slipcast) really comes through. My favourites in this style are the multi handled vases like the one pictured with its sweeping Art Nouveau curves and styling.

This glaze colour and style is known as “Dekorativglasur” (Decorative Glaze) and is the style that this Danish Pottery is probably most recognised by.

P. Ipsens Enke Denmark

Ipsen’s Pottery established in 1843 by potter Rasmus Peter Ipsen (1815-60) from Bornholm. Peter died early and his widow Louise Ipsen continued what her husband had started – and the factory became known as Ipsens Enke (Ipsen’s Widow). Their eldest son Bertel Ipsen (1846-1917) who also became a potter took over the running of the pottery in 1865.

Bertel Ipsen is the one who developed this blended and brightly coloured matte glaze referred to as “Dekorativglasur “ around 1910. It became hugely popular, and continues to be popular to this day amongst collectors – although it seems to be better known outside of Denmark these days.

Many iconic Danish potters and designers started off or worked for periods at Ipsen’s, including Axel Salto, Axel Sorensen, Georg Jensen, Just Andersen, Bode Willumsen, Arne Bang, Johannes Hedegaard just to name a few. Read more

J. Ruth, Ruth Faktor//Faktorowicz

J. Ruth, Ruth Faktor//Faktorowicz

I found two charming ceramic plaques at auction earlier this week.

I’m always attracted to ceramic plaques, and these have such lovely glaze colours as well a strong Modernist look… which is what first drew my eye to them.

They are by Israeli ceramicist Ruth Faktorowicz, who signs her work J. Ruth.  She was born in 1937, and studied under Israeli ceramicist Zohar Guri, who’s Modernist style clearly influenced Ruth’s style. Ruth also studied at the Ramat-Gan Art School 1973-1975.

J. Ruth’s work often depicts themes of peace, family and friendship, and also the townscapes of Israel. You can see more of here work on this U.S. based gallery site.

(Above is re-published from my original RetroPotteryNet website article 24.07.2014 and has been plagiarised word for word and re-published at least once that I am aware of. Readers are reminded that all of the information on this site c20ceramics.net , previously retropottery.net is subject to copyright law. In most cases I am happy with simple attribution, but please do the right thing and contact me first) Read more

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