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Posts tagged ‘1970s’

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

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Annette From

Annette From, Denmark

Work by Annette From of Denmark made in the 1970s and 1980s I come across from time to time. As of 2012 she was still working at her studio in Asnæs (a village in the western part of Zealand, DK)….I am not sure if this is still the case.

She was born in 1931 in Ghent, Belgium. Annette exhibited widely in Denmark between the 1960s and 1990s – but surprisingly little of her work is seen on the market these days.

Her training as a potter was completed in 1951 after having been taught by Nathalie Krebs (Saxbo) and others,  and she set up her own studio in 1963.

The thrown forms I have seem made by her are from the 1970s and 1980s, and are solid, well made pieces with uncomplicated glazes. These thrown forms are made with have heavily textured clay as I find with quite a lot Danish Studio Pottery.

Her free-form sculptural pieces pictured below are also interesting, especially when grouped together in different ways – creating different interactions and small sculptural vignettes. While there are only 2 in a group below, they dont appear to have been made as “sets” and any number could be arranged in any manner.

If any readers of this site have work by Annette, I would love to see it – contact me via email or post to the facebook page for the website.

Annette From, Denmark, Studio Bowl

Annette From, Denmark, Studio Bowl

Annette From, Denmark, Studio Bowl

Annette From, Denmark, Studio Bowl , Top View

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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

Midwinter Stonehenge

Midwinter Stonehenge is one of the standout British designs of the 1970s. The series was created by Eve Midwinter c1972 who had previously worked at the Portmeirion factory. The look of Stonehenge was revolutionary and so much of its time.

The Stonehenge shape is typified by its studio like geometric forms, bold curved handles and the very tactile rounded lids and knobs. The designs and colours in Stonehenge typify the “back to nature” design ethos of 1970s in the same way as does Arabia Finland’s Ruska.

“Creation” was the first design of the Stonehenge series – an light cream coloured gloss base glaze, flecked with iron oxide and rustic iron saturated edges. It became popular instantly, and at the height of its popularity 5 tons of glaze was being used each week to keep up with demand. It was exported world wide – and you will sometimes find different names used for the U.S. market.

The Stonehenge designs of “Sun”, “Moon”, and “Earth” soon followed after “Creation” and all became equally as popular. These designs which were all based on “creation” were in production until 1982, and “Sun” even longer. The pieces could be mixed and matched – adding to their appeal.  A variation of the design “Wild Oats” by Eve Midwinter also became a very high selling pattern. These 5 patterns from the “Creation” series are the ones you now see most often on the secondary market, and are now being discovered by a whole new generation.

The very last pattern of the Stonehenge series was “Nasturtium” (designed by Jessie Tait) with very vivid colours – but was later withdrawn around 1982 because of legislation on cadmium in blazes. Read more

Derek Smith, Australia

Derek Smith (b 1931 – )

Derek Smith was a already an accomplished ceramic designer and art teacher in the U.K. when he moved to Australia in 1956.

He set up a studio and kilns while he was teaching at Bowral High School in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, near Sturt Pottery where Smith developed working relationships with the potters there at the time.

Smith was then invited to teach at the Tasmanian School of Art, and his exhibition at Domain House in Hobart in 1963 was the first exhibition of stoneware pottery in Tasmania.

Smith spent 2 years setting up the ceramics course the the Tasmanian School of Art 1962-64 before continuing to teach until 1973, while developing a studio practice in Beecroft NSW.

In 1973 he was invited to establish and manage a pottery studio within the Doulton Australia factory. There he managed a studio with 6 staff. Derek designed the forms. Some were hand thrown and some were made using moulds and a jolley machine to increase output and efficiency. During this time Smith also continued to produce his own studio work.

Derek Smith’s skill as a designer and ceramicist were well suited to commercial production however the relationship with Doulton however was relatively short lived – ending in 1976-7 when Doulton Australia was sold, and Smith set up Blackfriars Pottery in Sydney which became a one of the largest and most successful potteries in Australia at that time.

In the 1980s he returned to Tasmania and focused on studio and exhibition work at his new studio Mangalore.

Derek Smith - Doulton Australia Vase

Derek Smith – Doulton Australia Vase. Doulton stamp can be seen near the base.

I view Derek Smith’s work up there with the best of Australian ceramic design from this era. To me his work exemplifies the best of 1970s design – a blend of quality commercial and studio pottery. His forms are so skilfully designed and made, and his use of glaze, surface and texture add to the beauty of these forms.

Below is a piece of Smith’s work with the DS cypher which he used 1969-1973.  Sometimes you can find this popular form with the Doulton stamp too – meaning it was produced a little later when Derek was with Doulton.

Derek Smith - Doulton Australia Bottle

Derek Smith –  Bottle Form

There is also a FLICKR page which has examples of Derek Smith’s backstamps or cyphers HERE if you are looking to date or identify a piece of work by Derek Smith.

Derek Smith - Blackfriars Pottery, Lidded Jar

Derek Smith – Blackfriars Pottery, Lidded Jar – Photo Shapiro Auctioneers Sydney

Derek Smith 1976 Studio Piece

Derek Smith 1976 Studio Piece, photo Shapiro Auctioneers Sydney

Derek Smith, Studio Bowl

Derek Smith, Studio Bowl

Derek Smith - Tall Cylindrical Form

Derek Smith – Tall Cylindrical Form.Photo from Australian Pottery at Bemboka website.

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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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