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Posts tagged ‘Pottery Signatures’

Gutte Eriksen

Gutte Eriksen, Denmark 1918-2008

I have been fortunate over the years to come across several pieces by important Danish studio Potter, Gutte Eriksen. Her work stands out to me due to her use of simple glazes and a limited colour palette. The clay which she mixed herself,  has a characteristic Zen “earthiness” and texture.

From 1955 she worked mostly with a specific glaze, which was a combination of borax, quartz, clay and ash. The recipe for this glaze was developed by British potter Michael Gill, and developed furhter by Gutte.  This glaze produced a large range of colours which were created by firing techniques of controlling oxygen, flame and kiln placement. The resulting colours were a subtle a range of blues, greys, and reddish brown,  The borax used in this glaze also gives her pottery a characteristic appearance, sometimes with whitish coloured “frothing” – much like you see on Japanese “Raku” pottery.  Decoration was kept simple on pieces which Gutte created, restricted to simple oxide brushwork on the glaze, and use of simple impressed repeat patterns on some pieces. 

The biography information below comes from the site Galerie Beson in the U.K. which closed in 2001, but remains as an important archive for those interested in important studio pottery of the 20th Century.


Gutte Eriksen influenced a generation of Danish potters with both her work and teaching. She taught at the Jutland Academy of Fine Arts, Arhus, in 1968-71, 1973-4 and 1976-8. Her public commissions include fountains in Østre Landsret and Holstebro. In 1972 she won the Gold Medal in Faenza and in 1985 she was awarded the Thorvald Bindesbøll Medal of the Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

In 2000 she was given The Prince Eugen Medal, awarded by the Swedish Royal Family for outstanding artistic achievement. She was honoured with a major retrospective at the Vejen Kunstmuseum in 2001.

Gutte Eriksen was born in 1918 in Rødby on the island of Lolland in Denmark. She studied at the Kunsthåndvaerkskolen in Copenhagen from 1936 to 1939. In 1941 she set up a studio with two other artists in Hareskov, moving to her own studio in Kastrup the following year.

In 1948 she spent two months working with Bernard Leach in St Ives, and later that year she worked in France with Pierre Lion and Vassil Ivanoff. From 1953 she worked in her studio at Karlsminde.


The influences of Bernard Leach and the Japanese potters can be clearly seen in her work and the approach to her work.  She visited Japan to work with potters there in 1970 and again in 1973.

Below are the photographs of pieces I have had by Gutte. In photo 2 you might be able to see the handle or “ear”, which is Gutte’s cypher or stamp – the letter “G”which has been mostly covered by the glaze.  Other pieces she simply signed “Gutte”.

Gutte Eriksen Studio Vessel

Gutte Eriksen Studio Vessel

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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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Leon Dissing, Denmark

Leon Dissing Denmark (1897-1986)

I have had a few smaller versions of the very curvaceous jug pictured, from time to time, but they haven’t had any markings. Fortunately this larger one I came across has back stamping, signature and shape number…the works! …making identification much easier.

Danish Potter Jens Andreas Pedersen Dissing (1866 – 1932) had 8 children and 7 of them were taught by him to be potters, and all 7 went on to have their own workshops.

One of the sons, Leon Dissing (1897-1986) was employed at DANICO and Annashaab potteries, until he started his own studio in 1930 in the town of Horsens where he produced a variety of domestic type pottery, including the striking example below.

Later in his life he became known for his abstract wall plaques.

Pieces like the one below, made by Leon Dissing were not always signed but they may have an “engraved”, intertwined LD on the base or an impressed DISSING DENMARK with a handwritten L.

The colour and form of this lovely piece are typical of Leon Dissing’s early work and appears to be from around the later 1930s going by the style. The glaze on it is quite lovely the way it runs and creates a lava like effect.

Leon Dissing, Denmark c1930s

Leon Dissing, Denmark c1930s

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Carn Pottery Cornwall

Carn Pottery Cornwall

Carn is the only surviving pottery out of the iconic 1960’s and 1970’s Trio of Cornish potteries – Carn, Tremaen and Tremar. The Pottery was established in an old chapel by John Beusmans in 1971 in the village of Nancledra near St. Ives in Cornwall.

John studied at Redruth Art College with his parents encouragement. His parents owned a retail pottery shop which exposed John to a lot of Cornish pottery styles. (Incidentally his parents also made the lamp shades for the renowned Troika lamp bases.) John quickly developed his own very recognisable style. John’s work displays an artist’s skill in his use of sculptural shape and form – and most pieces have many different viewing angles, as does good sculpture.

John defines himself as “A potter who makes his living from pots, not someone who just does it for pleasure – my pots have to be commercially viable – that’s part of the equation”

Every piece of Carn Pottery has at least 2 distinctly different sides, and in between these two sides you often see interesting morphing into other shapes. All of the pieces are slip cast and stoneware fired in electric kilns to at around 1200c. The pieces are glazed a plain white on the inside, and to accentuate the textures on the outside – John uses oxides, applied then rubbed off the high relief.

Carn Pottery Chimney Vase

Carn Pottery Chimney Vase

Carn Pottery Chimney Vase

Carn Pottery Chimney Vase Reverse Side

The colour comes from either copper for the green tones, or cobalt for the blue. The colours resulting are cool – like the changing colours of the Cornish sea and Cornish Landscape which has influenced John. The overall feel is almost primitive Celt or Norse like much Cornish pottery, and as John has said “ Getting back to the runes on the stone that basic primeval consciousness …there is something of that in my pots” Read more

Helle Allpass Denmark

Helle Allpass, Denmark,  (1932 – 2000).

Work by accomplished potters always stands out from the rest. The flat turned piece pictured below I had for several years before I discovered its maker, went on to find out more about her story, and then discovered the lovely bowl by Helle also pictured below.

Helle Allpass trained as an architect initially, but followed a family tradition of pottery soon after.  Her father was Christian Schollert, of Schollert Keramik, and her Grandfather Christian Johansen from Korsør.

Helle started her own studio in 1964 just north of Copenhagen, which became very successful and included her founding of the North Zealand Ceramics association. She lived and worked here for the rest of her life, but sadly suffered from Parkinsons disease from around 1996. Read more