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Posts tagged ‘Diana’

Diana Australia Nefertiti

Diana Australia Nefertiti c1960s

There was a worldwide Arts and Crafts revival in the mid 20th Century, and Australian pottery in the 1960s and 70’s was booming as well, especially with anything stoneware – both handmade and commercial.

The international icons such as Arabia Finland, and Midwinter UK reflected this trend world wide, but one of the most important commercial manufacturers from this period in Australia was Diana Pottery.

Diana (after the huntress) was set up in 1940 by Eric Lowe at a site in Marrickville, Sydney. In the 1940s they produced mainly utility and kitchen ware with over 200 shapes being produced. By 1952 they were employing 70 hands who were producing a large range of hand painted ware. In the 1960’s, Diana Pottery, under the name “Hollywood” made a variety of slip cast vases or brightly coloured glazed, or sprayed with a Cream glaze creating a speckled texture finish were made.

In this era they also produced one of the most enduring and popular of all the Diana ranges – a stoneware series called Nefertiti. Nefertiti features organic and modernist forms. It has become a modernist classic and as collectors items, pieces of this range are still surprisingly lowly priced. There were a large range of forms made – from utilitarian dinnerware to pieces such as carafes and goblets.

The pieces are also lovely to use and touch, and like all stoneware very tough.

Besides the great shapes – I love the glaze colours on these pieces which varies from a plain ochre yellow, to the richest rusty brown ochre colour, highlighted by the diamond texture on each piece. Another plus is that the size of many of the forms is very generous compared to many other products of this era.

There were a number of variations of decorations of the Nefertiti form – one a plain satin white glaze, one with the white glaze and decorative repeat medallion, and the other called “Safari” made to like like studio pottery with a more rustic glaze. There may be more still lurking out there which were made in lower numbers.

Diana Australia, Nefertiti Teapot

Diana Australia, Nefertiti Teapot

Diana Australia, Safari Jug

Diana Australia, Nefertiti Jug

Diana Australia, Nefertiti Ramekin

Diana Australia, Nefertiti Ramekin

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Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Nils Johan Thorvald Thorsson (1898 – 1975)

Ceramic artist and designer for Royal Copenhagen – Aluminia.

Nils joined Royal Copenhagen as an apprentice in 1912, and graduated from the royal Danish Academy in 1917. He went on to become Royal Copenhagen’s most prolific designer. He was Artistic director at Royal Copenhagen from 1949 while also artistic director of Aluminia also from 1928-1969.

(Aluminia pottery works was established in Copenhagen in 1863. In 1882, the owners of Aluminia purchased Royal Copenhagen factory. The factories were operated independently under their respective trade names until 1969, when the use of the Aluminia name was ended)

Nils designed at least 5 of  best known production ranges for Aluminia/Royal Copenhagen – Solberg (1930’s), Marselis (1950’s) Tenera (1960’s), Baca (1960’s), Diana (1970’s)

Nils Thorsson, Marselis Series Vase - Aluminia/Royal Copenhagen

Nils Thorsson, Marselis Series Vase – Aluminia/Royal Copenhagen

Nils Thorsson, Solberg Series Vase

Nils Thorsson, Solberg Series Vase, Royal Copenhagen//Aluminia

Nils Thorsson Diana Series Vase, Royal Copenhagen

Nils Thorsson Diana Series Vase, Royal Copenhagen

He also produced many exquisite art pieces in high fired glazes that are lesser known and hard to find. For the Baca and Tenera series he designed the forms (shapes) – and other members of his team designed the patterns. The patterns which he designed will have his cypher on the base.

Nils Thorsson Cypher (bottom)

Nils Thorsson Cypher (bottom in circle)

Baca Pattern 708, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 708, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 723, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 723, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 721, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 721, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 734, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 734, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 720, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 720, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Thorsson, Baca Pattern 719, Royal Copenhagen

Thorsson, Baca Pattern 719, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 719, On Square Bowl, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Baca Pattern 719, On Square Bowl, Nils Thorsson, Royal Copenhagen

Nils also designed the Morgenfrue and Oranja (Tureby) dinnerware series amongst others.

Oranja/Tureby Tureen, Design Nils Thorsson, Aluminia//Royal Copenhagen

Oranja Tureen, Design Nils Thorsson, Aluminia//Royal Copenhagen

Morgenfrue Cup/Saucer Aluminia, Nils Thorsson

Morgenfrue Cup/Saucer Aluminia, Nils Thorsson

Nils body of work is so large that it is hard to capture a picture of it as a whole, as of course it changed during his lifetime spent at Royal Copenhagen. However his form and pattern designs from the 1950s – 1970’s, especially from the BACA and TENERA ranges, were and remain some of Royal Copenhagen’s most popular works coveted as being prime examples of mid-century and Danish modernism. Read more