28 January 2015

Ady Kroyer - Denmark

I first came across Ady’s pottery in 2011 when I purchased in an auction “bay lot”, an elegant stoneware fajance jug with a stylish blue black and white geometric pattern – and “Ady” inscribed to the base. I come across a lot of pottery which is hard to identify, but pieces from an accomplished and experienced potter always shines and stands out from the rest – it often takes a long time however (if ever) for the maker to be revealed… I was able to find a few other examples of Ady’s work online, but not much else to indicate who the maker was or any other clues.

Fortunately in June 2014 Vibeke Rohland – a designer in Copenhagen, contacted me through my blog when she found a blog post I had done which had a photograph of an unidentified jug, and she identified her Aunt Ady Kroyer as the maker.

Since then, with the assistance of Ady, now in her 80’s, and Vibeke, I have had the privilege of a glimpse into the working life of a post WWII studio Potter in Denmark.

You can purchase my PDF document about Ady Kroyer, with further and more detailed information, biographical details, plus over 25 photographs and some fascinating images from Ady's working catalogue, personal photographs and drawings.
Purchase from my ETSY store HERE

Ady Kroyer was born in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark 1933. Her father was a printer who had a huge print worskshop in the town of Lyngby where the family lived. Growing up and finding a trade or profession around and post World War II in Denmark as with many other countries was difficult, but Ady was fortunate to get a pottery apprenticeship at the age of 16 at Zeuthen Keramik in 1949.

At Zeuthen, Ady showed great skill with the use of decorating with the traditional cow horn to apply slip or glaze , and was able to produce straight lines using this technique as well – a difficult skill to master.  Part of the reason that Ady also jumped at the chance to work at Zeuthen was that she was allowed to stay after the working day to make her own ceramics, which enabled her to practice and develop her skills further.

A teapot by Ady which I think shows the influence of her time at Zeuthen Keramik with its decorative use
of pattern in white, on a red clay.

After her time at Zeuthen, Ady worked as an apprentice in Norway, Sweden and then back in Denmark, before starting her own studio - initially in Copenhagen in 1954 for a short period, then  to a lovely old millhouse in Kirke Saby, near Roskilde - about 30km from Copenhagen, where she remained the rest of her working life.

Ady Kroyer - Large decorated bowl

Ady Kroyer - biomorphic black and yellow bowl

Ady Kroyer - Fajance decorated bowl

Ady Kroyer decorated bowl - courtesy Petapeta Japan  

Ady’s work pops up around the world from the United States, to Japan to here in Australia. Ady Kroyer’s pottery can be easily recognized with “Ady” hand carved to the base. For about a period of about 1 year only Ady used her married name and you may come across pottery inscribed Ady in the centre, with Kroyer Johansen carved around it.


You can purchase my Ady Kroyer PDF document with further, more detailed information and biographical details, plus over 25 photographs and some fascinating images from Ady's working catalogue, personal photographs and drawings.
Purchase from my ETSY store HERE

24 January 2015

Auction Watch 147

There is an interesting variety of things on offer at 2 auctions here this week....here are some of the items that stood out to me:

Great looking, tall Modernist Lapid Vase

A charming little Murano scent bottle

Royal Doulton "Carnival"- another of their great early 20th Century black and yellow themed

I don't see this too often - Royal Copenhagen "blue fluted" dinnerware - marked as factory
seconds but still very desirable pieces.

A very elegant and stylish Bing & Grondahl part dinner set - I love the lidded soup bowls.

A very smart Knabstrup - Denmark, part dinner set

A great looking Alessi Kettle - Richard Sapper design - the first Alessi designer kettle 1983

I'm always attract to Arts & Crafts era furniture like this charming oak lamp or side table

A very retro looking lounge suite and accessories!

Lidded depression era uranium glass storage box

Looks like an "Amphora, Czechoslovakia" design

20 January 2015

Lauri Tuominen - South Australian Studio Potter

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 accessable to people who knew nothing about pottery...except for what they liked.

Practically everyone I know 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 seen Tuominen pottery for sale 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 worked alongside 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.

Tuominen's style of darkly glazed stoneware in earth tones became less popular in the 1990s and Lauri went into making ceramic water purifiers before retiring. Being a commercial success as an Artist or Potter in Adelaide was also until recent times somewhat frowned upon by the local "Art Establishment" so Lauri's contribution to the pottery world probably never achieved the recognition it should have during its era.

I have several pieces of Tuominen pottery which I have picked up over the years... these are some of them. My favourites are the teapot, and the bottle vase forms. There are a number of variations of the Tuominen signature - some are labels, some are stamped and some hand written. Studio work made by Lauri will have a "T" stamp and his hand inscription.

As I mentioned, I rarely see pieces in lighter colours that were produced, but I did find this example on Judith Pearce's  Australian Pottery at Bemboka site:

17 January 2015

Auction Watch 146

The first auction watch of the year....one or two auction houses here had auctions last week, but this week everyone is back in business after the Christmas/New Year break - strangely enough though there isn't a lot to choose from..... I thought we would be spoilt for choice! . Anyway, here are some items that took my eye.

A stunning, very large Lapid Vase - I have had this design in smaller
sizes before - but it looks simply fantastic at this size.

Lady Head Vase - not something I know much about, except
they are keenly sought after, and can go for very high prices.
Surprisingly I don't see them that often.

Some charming retro designs on these hand painted studio pieces
 by Phyllis Bernard - a name I haven't come across previously.  
Villeroy & Boch Acapulco - Its ages since I have seen any amount of this design at auction - bidding
is bound to be furious on this lot - it is still immensely popular and its so easy to see why.

A charming Japanese Children's tea set
Some kitsch Australiana

...and finally quite an attractive colour on this Newtone (Australia) 1930s planter trough. Prices of pieces by
this iconic Australian maker rose quite a bit during last year I noticed.

15 January 2015

Bjorn Wiinblad re-imagined

Welcome back to another great year of vintage & retro ceramics and related goodies. I meant to do this particular post at the end of last year, but didn't get around to it...so now is the perfect time to do it, with the previous 2 posts also featuring Wiinblad's designs :)

In September 2014 the Danish design group "Rosendahl" released a collection of 47 re-imagined Bjorn Wiinblad pieces based on a study of the designs of thousands of pieces of Wiinblad's original works at his "Blue House". Part proceeds of the sales of this series will go to help support Wiinblad's "Blue House" - which is now a working museum.

The focus of the series is Wiinblad's original and timeless designs of his "lovely ladies" - Rosaline, Felicia, Cecilia, Amelia and Roseumunde - with their images placed onto a variety of contemporary forms including mugs, bowls, vases, candlesticks, jardinières and more.  Wiinblad's signature colour of blue is complemented by the use of 5 other colours - purple, black, green, yellow and red.

The Rosendahl Bjorn Wiinblad site is well worth a look for the superb photography and design alone, in addition to a lot of good quality background information. (to translate just use a Google chrome browser) . The photos here are all from the Rosendahl/Wiinblad website media pack.

The designs are available widely in Denmark, and for people outside Denmark I notice that online retailer DPH Trading in Denmark have the series available.


23 December 2014

Happy Christmas & New Year

This is the last post for 2014. I am taking a break for a few weeks, and plan to start posting again around January 12th.

Thank you all for following, reading, commenting and sharing quality information on this blog during 2014. It is now year number 5 and they are just flying past. The knowledge base on this site grows and grows - and I hope to release a few e-books next year to consolidate some of the topics.

So see you all soon..... Meanwhile have a safe, happy and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.