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Posts tagged ‘1960s’

Desiree Thule, Denmark

Desiree “Thule”, Denmark 1960s.

The Danish ceramics company Desiree was located in the small town of Benlose in central Zealand, Denmark.

It began in 1964 under the direction of H.C. Torbol, who had been production manager at Bing & Grondahl for many years. Torbol’s son Knud and his Artist wife Lis took over the company in 1975.

Desiree’s production consisted of mainly stoneware utility items (dinnerware) and lamps. They are also known for their range of quality blue and white Mothers Day and Christmas plates in blue and white in the Danish tradition.

The factory closed around the year 2001 but still maintains a website HERE which showcases their designs, with some other good information on the “frames” (shapes) produced in each setting etc.

The design “Thule” by Desiree is their stand out design, and still very popular – although hard to get outside of Denmark.  It went into production in the late sixties and I believe continued in some capacity until the factory closed. It is a very well known design in Denmark, but not as well known outside Denmark as for example the designs like “Cordial” or “Azur” by Jens Quistgaard are known.

Desiree Denmark, Thule Teapot

Desiree Denmark, Thule Teapot

Desiree Denmark, Thule Cup & Plates

Desiree Denmark, Thule Cup & Plates

I think “Thule” is up there with the best of Danish dinnerware designs of this era. I think of it as a “Danish Modern” classic. The deep iron saturated glaze is quite unique, and compliments the greens of the pattern so well.

The forms and shapes of the dinnerware are also outstanding examples of great design. It is incredibly tough and durable – without being “noisy” as many stoneware dinner services can be when in use.

I love the variations in the iron saturated glaze, which at first glance  might look rough to the touch – but is actually very smooth. The whole design to me shows very high levels of technical mastery with glazing, manufacture, and concept development.

From the Desiree (archived) website: Read more

Arabia Ruska – Ulla Procope

Arabia Ruska – Ulla Procope

Ulla (Ulrika) Procope (1921-1968) worked in Arabia’s art department at the same time as Kaj Franc, Kaarine Aho, and Goran Back. Initially she trained with Olga Osol in the hand painting department at Arabia, after graduating as a ceramicist from the Central School of Arts & Crafts in Helsinki. She worked at Arabia from 1948-1967.

Ulla was a skilled wheel thrower who understood how clay worked, and her outstanding design skills along with the ability to create production models, contributed to the success of Arabia in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Ruska range which she designed for Arabia Finland in 1960 became one of the best selling lines in their history. Its production was continued into the 1990’s it was so popular. It has become a Scandinavian design classic.

It was the first time Arabia  had used a matte glaze for mass produced utilitarian ware. Ruska had a handcrafted look and feel to it, with the glaze colour and mottled appearance turning out slightly differently on each piece.

Arabia Ruska Teapot

Arabia Ruska Teapot

Arabia Ruska Milk Jug Creamer

Arabia Ruska Milk Jug Creamer

Arabia Ruska - Large Coffee Cup

Arabia Ruska – Large Coffee Cup

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Allan Lowe, Australia – Simple Modernist Earthenware

Allan Lowe (1907-2001)  – Simple Modernist Earthenware. I am always drawn to the work of this mid-century Australian studio potter.

Allan was a painter before setting up a pottery studio at Merlyston, Victoria, in 1929. His keen awareness of colour on his pottery is probably due to that previous experience.

I love the use of strong colours which contrast so well with the cream coloured earthenware on these simply thrown utilitarian pieces below, typical of the work from Lowe’s studio. They probably date to the early 1960s.

The following bio for Allan is from Judith Pearce’s Australian Pottery site where you can see quite a few examples of his work: Read more

Denby Arabesque

Denby Arabesque design by Gill Pemberton would have to be one of the 20th Centuries greatest dinnerware designs. Unlike many other dinnerware and production designs of this era and later Gill actually designed all the forms and the patterns – including the ergonomics of the handles and such.

Originally Arabesque started as a small set of gift ware designed by Gill Pemberton – with the same stylish and ergonomically correct handles as those on Chevron. A trip to Russia with her husband in 1962 inspired the idea for the red and golden hand painted decoration which she developed further. The design for Arabesque was bound to become a cultural icon of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

The Arabesque range was in production only 12 months after the Chevron range had started and continued in production for almost 20 years.

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