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Posts tagged ‘Stoneware’

Axella Denmark

Axella Denmark

Axella Denmark pottery has quite a distinctive 1970s look about it, and as far as I have seen appears to be all stoneware (Stentoj)

The pottery began around 1970 in the town of Norresundby (Near Aarhus) Denmark, being founded by Aksel Larsen. It had several name changes during its short operational life starting as Axella Design then around 1978, changing its name to Axella Ceramics and then back to Axella design. It closed in 1987-8. 

Jens Jensen, and Jette Helleroe both worked there for a period – in fact the majority of the work that you will come across from Axella, is work by Jette Helleroe – her stunning series of pendant light shades and lamps for Axella.

Thankfully, it seems that all Axella works as clearly stamped with an impressed stamp, and are often found with a foil label still. The work by Jette Helleroe for Axella is signed by her in addition to being stamped. Many pieces also have a stamped number – which I am guessing is the shape or form number.

Axella Denmark, Tall Form

Axella Denmark, Tall Form

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L. Hjorth Denmark Urn

L Hjorth Denmark Urn

This beautiful handmade stoneware vase is from L. Hjorth, Bornholm, Denmark. I love the colour and texture of the glaze, in addition to the form and level of craftsmanship the piece displays.

The glaze indicates a studio piece from the 1960’s or 1970’s with its blue mottled appearance. It was a glaze which was very popular in this era with many manufacturers and potters.

The urn is stamped only with the L.Hjorth stamp, and does not have the reindeer mark – the lack of which would normally indicate that this was produced pre 1927 – but there are exceptions to this rule, and you can find pieces made in the 1960s and 1970s which have no reindeer stamp.

Looking through the old Hjorth catalogues online however, I think I have found the series this piece was copied from in the 1916 catalogue, the title of which translates as “copies of Bornholm excavations”. Copies from which era I’m not sure, as Bornholm has been occupied since pre-historic times by several races/tribes of peoples. The form of this piece has a very Roman Empire look to it though.

Apparently the original pieces made in 1916 as copies of the Bornholm excavations had little in the way of glaze or decoration either – and were a reddish brown, or natural clay colour.

Whatever the story – A fascinating link to history through a beautifully made piece of early 20th Century pottery. The beauty of Danish pottery never ceases to astound me.

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Tuominen Pottery, Adelaide

Tuominen Pottery, Adelaide Australia.

Lauri Tuominen (b1949 -) worked here in South Australia as a potter for about 20 years during the late 1970s into the 1990’s.  I remember his gallery outlet as being very successful commercially and accessible to people who knew nothing about pottery…except for what they liked.

Lauri Tuominen Studio Pottery

Lauri Tuominen Studio Pottery

Practically everyone I know locally has a piece of Tuominen pottery from this period. What wasn’t purchased personally was often given as a gift, wedding present or housewarming gift etc.

Occasionally I have see Tuominen pottery for sale now mistakenly attributed as “Arabia Finland” because of the Finnish designer at Arabia, Kati Tuominen.

Lauri was Finnish born and trained as, then worked as an art teacher here for 4 years before moving full time into being a full time potter. He did some further design study in Scandinavia in his early years as a potter. In his studio he employed 1 apprentice and 1 assistant.

His large variety of domestic stoneware pottery is characterised by dark subdued glazes in earthen colours, as is much of his one-off studio ware. There were other colours produced but these darker tones were the most popular and are the ones most often found these days at auctions, second hand stores, markets etc.

Lauri Tuominen Studio Pottery

Lauri Tuominen Studio Pottery Large Teapot

Lauri Tuominen Studio Pottery

Lauri Tuominen Studio Pottery Blossom Vase

Lauri Tuominen Studio Pottery

Lauri Tuominen Studio Pottery – Small Jug

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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

Upsala Ekeby Kosmos – Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby Kosmos – Berit Ternell

The Kosmos series was designed by Berit Ternell, for Upsala Ekeby-Gefle (Sweden) and produced between 1966 – 1977.

I love the shapes, and the glaze colour of a deep transparent blue with the brown clay showing through on the ridges.

Kosmos came in 2 colour décors – this blue/brown and a green/brown which is much less common.

The following background on Berit Ternell I’ve managed to glean from the Swedish Wikipedia and the Upsala Ekeby Museum site .

Berit Ternell began an apprenticeship at the age of 15 as an apprentice in ceramic design at Stenebyskolan, continuing education she had received at the Society for Industrial school in Gothenburg . She was an intern at Upsala-Ekeby Ltd. and also worked abroad during the 1950s including some time at TG Green in the UK. She was also employed at Bofajans before she worked for a long period be 1957 – 1971 at Gävle Porslinsfabrik where she was chief designer. After working at Gävle, Berit taught at the Industrial Art School (HDK) in Gothenburg for over 20 years. She was also affiliated with the Rorstrand and Reijmyre glassworks. During the 1960s. Berit received a number of scholarships and awards for her designs, including an international award for KOSMOS in Holland in 1967.

Upsala Ekeby - Kosmos Teapot, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby – Kosmos Teapot, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby - Kosmos Cup/Saucer, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby – Kosmos Cup/Saucer, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby - Kosmos Milk Jug, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby – Kosmos Milk Jug, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby - Kosmos Plate, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby – Kosmos Plate, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby - Kosmos Backstamp, Berit Ternell

Upsala Ekeby – Kosmos Backstamp, Berit Ternell

I have been unable to find an image of the green “Kosmos”, however the same forms of Kosmos were also used on a design called “Cuba” during the same production period. The glaze is a matt speckled  brown – very similar in tones and variations to Arabia Finland “Ruska”. Read more

Jens Quistgaard Ceramic & Rosewood Humidors, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Ceramic & Rosewood Humidors

Apart from the dinnerware designs Jens Quistgaard created in the 1960s and 1970s for Kronyjden Nissen he created a series of beautiful ceramic/rosewood accessories for cigarettes, smoking and cigars.

While this might seem odd to use these days, let’s not forget this was at a time when smoking was seen as a normal part of daily life, and often portrayed as aspirational.

The pieces he created included humidors, ashtrays, cigarette jars etc. They were pieces made to be proudly displayed as luxury items.

The glazes used were mostly from the azure and umber dinnerware series, combined with the most beautifully crafted and sculpted rosewood lids on many of the pieces which Quistgaard also designed.

These designs  also complimented a now iconic series designed by Quistgaard known as the “Rare Wood Table Top Collection” of trays, bowls, ice buckets, pepper mills for Dansk Designs in 1961.

Lettering was used on the ceramic surfaces as a decorative technique to stunning effect, with a repeated word embossed on to the clay body, accentuating the beauty of the glaze and form.

It is not often you find wood and clay combined well – but Quistgaard did so to perfection in these designs.

Below are some of the pieces I have come across, but there are several more designs in this series which is now very hard to find, and keenly sought by design collectors.

Jens Quistgaard, Cigar Humidor, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Cigar Humidor, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Cigar Humidor, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Cigar Humidor, Kronjyden Nissen – Top View

Jens Quistgaard, Ashtray, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Ashtray, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Ashtray, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Ashtray, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Cigarette Jar, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard, Cigarette Jar, Kronjyden Nissen

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Jens Quistgaard “Rune” Design, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard “Rune”, Kronjyden Nissen

Another of the great stoneware designs by Jens Quistgaard for Danish maker Kronjyden Nissen in the 1960s.

This design is called “Rune”, and the motifs on the design appears to be based upon or give an impression of early Runes (turned on their side) which were which were used to write various Germanic/Scandinavian languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet.

Again it is a stoneware dinner service, this time with a smooth semi matte glaze with lovely pale olive green to ochre colours on the rims and edges. Again the brass rattan wrapped handles on some of the pieces add to the feel of being hand-crafted.

Rune Design Cup, Saucer, Plate, Jens Quistgaard for Kronjyden Nissen

Rune Design Cup, Saucer, Plate, Jens Quistgaard for Kronjyden Nissen

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Jens Quistgaard “Azur”, Kronjyden Nissen

Jens Quistgaard’s “Azur” Design was created for Kronjyden Nissen Demark in the early 1960s, soon after “Relief”.

The design features a charming abstracted floral repeat motif, reminiscent of Japanese cherry blossom. The plates are have an octagonal form, and the whole series seems a further refinement of the “Relief” design.

The most common colourway you will find it in is a subtle blue grey, but the design was also made in at least 1 other colour – a chocaltey brown called “Umbra”

Kronjyden Nissen

Kronjyden Nissen “Azur” Jens Quistgaard, Teapot

Kronjyden Nissen

Kronjyden Nissen “Azur” Jens Quistgaard – Plate form

Kronjyden Nissen

Kronjyden Nissen “Azur” Jens Quistgaard – Cup, Saucer, Plate

Kronjyden Nissen

Kronjyden Nissen “Azur” Jens Quistgaard – lidded Sugar Bowl

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