24 April 2016

Bitossi Viti

If you have been reading this website for some time, you might have noticed the fantastic, very large Vintage Bitossi lamp base below I found several years ago. I have seen this lamp design pop up occasionally online, but it seems to be quite uncommon compared with other Bitossi designs which you tend to see just about everywhere.

Finally I have been able to give the decor or design a name. It is "Viti" - an Italian noun for a wood screw - and if you look at the design you can see that there are impressed screw marks all over it.

What a simple, inventive and creative way of coming up with a very striking design.

The same form and decor was also made as a tall vase.



17 April 2016

An Original Denby Chevron Platter

A nice link into the previous post quite by coincidence. This is a bit of a rarity - in fact Ive never come across this platter from the Denby "Chevron" series before. I've had a similar size in the 1950s "spring" design and this one is a little larger than that....a huge piece in fact.

Even better it appears to be have never been used - not a mark!.....and because of that you are able to see the glaze and colour as it originally was, without the fading and subtle changes that come from time and use. Even though Denby pottery is very tough stoneware, the glazes do start to loose their sheen and surface over the decades from detergents and general wear as does all pottery.

If  you are unfamiliar with this now iconic Denby Chevron series by Gill Pemberton, read about it in my previous entries in reverse sequence HERE. 





03 April 2016

Denby - Natural Canvas - An Evolution of Chevron

I was interested to see one of my favourite makers of the 20th Century who are still in business (not too many of them around any more) - Denby, has recently released an evolution of Gill Pemberton's iconic "Chevron" design.

It is called "Natural Canvas", and (quoted from the Denby website)
"The design origins of the collection lie in Gill Pemberton's iconic "Chevron"range of the 1960's. Natural canvas borrows proudly from the collection's (Chevron) Scandinavian influences and earthy hand-applied texture. In doing so it celebrates the very best of Denby's contribution to pottery and design and sensitively updates it for modern living" 
A nice touch that on the Denby website, Gill is acknowledged for her original design on which "Canvas" is based, along with a photograph of her at work on a Chevron piece in the 1960s.

As with all Denby pottery, it is vitrified stoneware - which is very strong and made to last.

Not often does a re-working of a such a classic and iconic design resolve that well, but this time I think it has worked extremely well, and like Chevron, it is an elegant, classic and timeless design.

I love the shapes of the handles on these pieces, plus the colour - and while the design has been refined for today, it's essential authenticity has not been lost - especially when you compare designs such as that of the teapot.

All images are courtesy of Denby U.K.  (click to go to the Denby web pages for Natural Canvas)

Read my series of posts about "Chevron" including my interview with Gill a few years ago HERE. 

Denby "Natural Canvas" 

Denby "Natural Canvas" 

Denby "Natural Canvas" 

23 March 2016

Arabia Finland Kaarna

This all white trio of teapot, jug, and sugar bowl below is a variation of the "Kaarna" design for Arabia Finland by Ulla Procope (b1921- d1968).

Ulla Procope of course was responsible for some of the most iconic 1960's and 1970s designs from Arabia Finland - e.g. Rosmarin, Fennica, Ruska, Valencia, Liekki, Anemone, Koralli and her last and most colourful design - Purpurinjenkka

Kaarna is a Finnish noun for Bark (tree) - and seems to be a reference to the ribbed texture on this design - more obvious in the matte brown glaze as seen in the last photograph.

The white glaze has a more contemporary and timeless look about it, with white glazes still being the preference of many manufacturers and buyers.

This seems to be slowly changing again however - starting with the influence and preference of high end world class restaurants (especially those in Scandinavia) for the hand made, and more rustic looking dinnerware with the concept of a single massed produced dinnerware design out of favour.





17 March 2016

Gerd Bogelund

Gerd Bogelund (1923-1987) worked at Royal Copenhagen while studying until 1942, then briefly worked at Saxbo before returning to Royal Copenhagen in 1946 as an Artist in Residence for many years. Her work is highly sought after by collectors, but hard to find here in Australia. 

I was fortunate enough to find the 2 pieces in the first 4 images a few years ago, but it is only the second time I have come across the work of this designer in about 10 years (at an affordable price anyway :)

She is best known for her beautifully and intricately patterned stoneware pieces at Royal Copenhagen, typical of the example below, but did also design some equally impressive porcelain pieces - often with blue or celadon glazes.

If you want to see more, Freeforms USA in New York, always have a great selection of work by Gerd on their website HERE





The Gerd Bogelund cypher above is one of the more easily recognisable ones - a stylised GB. 

A very popular blossom vase form by Gerd Bogelund  for Royal Copenhagen
 (photo Scammell Auctions) 

This exquisite Celadon glazed candle holder by Gerd was for Auction at Lauritz.com some time
ago - and you can see more images of this piece on their website HERE





15 February 2016

Arabia Finland - Saara

I recently came across the striking design pictured in the first image here, by Arabia Finland. We don't get a lot of variety with Arabia designs here in Australia - so its great to find a design such as this.

It is "Saara" or "Sarah", and was produced c1971-1976. It's designer was Anja Jaatinen-Winquist (b1934 - ). Anja also designed "Paju", "Karelia","Kaira" and "Kalevala" in the same era.

Interestingly I found out doing this little bit of research, that the name "Kalevala" was used twice for different designs by Arabia Finland. The one we are most familiar with is the series of Christmas Plates with the same name, but the name Kalevala actually refers to an epic and important Finnish poem, which you can read the story of on THIS beautifully designed Japanese website/store.

Arabia Finland Saara



Anja worked at the Arabia factory for over 20 years, after graduating in 1955 from the Helsinki School of Applied Arts. At Arabia she created handmade decorative works for Arabia Studio in Stoneware, as well as several tableware designs. Some of these designs were in conjunction with her husband Peter Winquist (b 1941 - ) who also worked at the Arabia Factory as a designer 1967-1974.

Arabia Kalevala - Image from THIS beautiful Japanese website 

Arabia Karelia - Photo by ChomleyStreet on Etsy (Australia) 
Arabia Paju (Variation) , Photo by ChomleyStreet, Etsy, Australia 
Arabia Kaira - Photo by Norden Design shop, Netherlands, HERE

07 February 2016

Staffordshire 1970s Trios

I found some more fantastically patterned Staffordshire trios recently. Both designs I have had previously, but I love the crispness and boldness of the designs on all of the patterns Staffordshire produced in this era. The variations also seem countless.

One group of trios in the most intense and bright deep blue, and the other in a gelati orange.

These items, made by Staffordshire Potteries in the 1960s and 1970s have maintained their popularity to this day. They were made in the millions, from good quality china - but I have noticed only in the past year or so that getting hold of them is becoming a bit more difficult.

I have put up some of them up on eBay and etsy if you are interested in having a look.





23 January 2016

Figgjo Lotte Jars

Another Figgjo "Lotte" form I haven't come across until I found this shape recently.

It is a lidded box - and I am guessing this shape was designed for jam or conserve - or perhaps a canister for a dry food, measuring approximately 10cm cubed. It has the same design on each of the four sides, and a floral wreath on the top of the lid. There were 2 of these in an auction lot and both are in pristine condition - so whatever the intended use, they appear not to have been used.

These days of course, it would be probably more appropriate to use as a eye catching display piece or a storage container on a cupboard or shelf.