06 December 2011

Ildpot Range - Grethe Meyer - Royal Copenhagen

Grethe Meyer (1918-2008) was one of Denmark's most important 20th Century designers. Architect, furniture designer, Product designer and more. Although she dedicated herself to a career in architecture, she gained an international reputation for her glassware and ceramic designs. Her high-integrity household products can be seen as an material of the "cult of domesticity" common to Scandinavia and reflected Meyer's belief that "one should buy fewer items of better quality".

The first time I heard of Grethe Meyer was when I bought two pieces from her "Ildpot" series from Royal Copenhagen in the 1970's.. I was intrigued by their beauty and "brutalist"simplicity.

The Ildpot series was an example of adaptation to a new twentieth century lifestyle: the busy person working outside the home can put the bowl directly from the freezer in the oven, grill or microwave, and let the finished dish simmer while performing other chores. The design was very versatile - the lid could also be used as a plate, or placed onto heat insulating teak plates.

Grethe Meyer - Royal Copenhagen - Ildpot Series 1976

Grethe Meyer - Royal Copenhagen - Ildpot Series 1976

Grethe Meyer - Royal Copenhagen - Ildpot Series 1976

Among Meyer's other works are superb pieces of furniture, designed together with Børge Mogensen, A glass series "Stub" for Kastrup along with Ibi Trier Morch".  "Blakant", "Fire-Kettle" and "Hvidpot" for Royal Copenhagen and the cutlery series "Copenhagen" for Georg Jensen. All of her work as a timeless quality.

From the official Royal Copenhagen site:
Artist and architect in one:
Grethe Meyer is not just an artist, but at least as much of an architect with a very special eye for how functionality can be combined in poetic expression. With these two areas of focus, her solutions are beautiful and eternal elements that form part of our everyday lives.
Grethe Meyer completed her training as an architect at the Academy of Arts in Copenhagen in 1947. She was influenced by the unique functionalism that existed in Denmark from the late 1930s to the late 1950s. She may, in fact, be the prime example of the shared enthusiasm for aesthetic simplicity and perfect craftsmanship that goes by the international style appellation of Danish Design.
With an eye for habit:
Simplicity is characteristic of all Grethe Meyer's work. But simplicity does not happen by itself. It is the result of detailed observation, experience and analysis of our habits. It is also the foundation for Blue Line from 1965, which was Grethe Meyer's first big success at Royal Copenhagen. The shapes in Blue Line are precise and timeless, and they have been carried forward into other series as "4 All Seasons".

Grethe Meyer - Royal Copenhagen - Wide Bowl from the  Ildpot Series 1976

See a very good article on Meyer's Royal Copenhagen ranges on Lauritz blog HERE

Also - a comprehensive biography on Grethe Meyer can also be found on the Danish Women's Biographical Encyclopedia HERE

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