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Rorstrand Blue Fire – Hertha Bengtson

Hertha Bengtson designed “Blue Fire” for Rorstrand Sweden in 1949, and it was in production from 1951-1971. It became a hugely popular design both in Sweden and internationally with its sweeping and bold biomorphic forms, and  intense blue glaze.

It was the first major dinner service designed by Hertha, who unlike many of her peers had a strong interest in the design of dinnerware.

It is a slip cast earthenware porcelain with a subtle and quite beautiful moulded herringbone pattern  which isn’t always apparent at first glance.

Some pieces of the dinnerware are in bright white, contrasting with the intense blue of the other forms. It was also released with a deep red coloured glaze. I have read that it was also released in a grey and a green – but haven’t been able to find any record of those colours.

Rorstrand Blue Fire

Rorstrand Blue Fire – large platter

Rorstrand Blue Fire

Rorstrand Blue Fire – Large Platter

Rorstrand Blue Fire

Rorstrand Blue Fire – Small Bowl

Rorstrand Blue Fire

Rorstrand Blue Fire – Small Dish

 

Rorstrand Blue Fire

Rorstrand Blue Fire Teapot Image via shop “MrsMarvellousVintage” Etsy

Rorstrand Blue Fire

Rorstrand Blue Fire – white and blue components, Image via “TheSaleRoom”

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Midwinter Kismet

The very impressive decorative pattern on this Midwinter trio is “Kismet”, in production from 1968-1974. The design reflects so well the time in which it was designed – the late 1960s. This was a time of interest in all things Indian, spirituality, batik, psychedelia and The Beatles – amongst other things. It is such a joyful pattern.

The pattern was designed by Joti Bhowmik, who also designed a variation of this design in blue, purple, green and mustard called “Bengal” which was in production from 1968-1970. I haven’t been able to find out any more about Joti Bhowmik unfortunately, and cant find any other patterns them other than Kismet and Bengal.

The forms on which the designs appear are of course the very popular “fine shape” which was designed by the Marquis (David) Queensberry and Roy Midwinter in 1962, and introduced to the market a much stronger and durable ceramic with brighter colours, on a simpler and more modern, functional and streamlined profile.

Midwinter Kismet

Midwinter Kismet

 

Midwinter Kismet

Midwinter Kismet

Midwinter Kismet

Midwinter Kismet

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Carlton Ware Wellington

This very space age looking design is from 1971. It is a design called “Wellington”, and is by Carlton Ware, Stoke-on-Trent, England – a maker normally associated with quite traditional wares.

It was released in a very large range of colours and often with floral patterns, as both dinnerware items and decor items.

The frequent use of floral patterns and “earthy” colours with this smart design seems a quite an incongruous pairing, as florals are not normally something you would associate with “space age design”…… these days anyway.

However this sort of combination could often be seen in the early 1970s – A period that saw simultaneously the revival of studio based craft practices, the “flower power” movement, and the emergence of cutting edge futuristic “space age” design. You can often see this often odd combination of styles in the home magazines of the 1970s.

The intense red glaze on the photo below via the NGV Melbourne is my pick of the best colour-way in this interesting series.

Carlton Ware Wellington

Carlton Ware Wellington, Photo via Etsy Shop “Keepsies”

Carlton Ware Wellington

Carlton Ware Wellington – Photo Ray Garrod

Carlton Ware Wellington

Carlton Ware Wellington – Photo Ray Garrod

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