Sunday, August 25, 2013

Planters, the latest thrifts...and a winner!!!

I'm addicted to green plants and vintage planters. I adore succulents and cacti, and wish we had the climate to have them in the garden too. Sometimes my living room turns into a greenhouse, it's kinda like that now.... I thought I'd show you the vintage planters I've picked up during the last couple of years and the plants that reside in them at the moment. If you've been around for a while, you've probably seen several of them before.

I have a thing for traditional, rustic pottery. I've bought a few of the old Sandnes pottery from Gann and Graveren. Those are the household storage jars and baking bowls they produced before they employed artists and started to make more colorful and "designed" pottery. These are obviously not mid- century, they're all probably around a 100 years old. Consequently, they are not water proof anymore. I've put dishes under the plastic pots inside the storage jars, but I wondered a long time what to do with the bowl. I ended up buy simply placing a terracotta pot and saucer into it. The colors match so why not. Sometimes it's a planter, sometimes a fruit bowl. Below is a new little bowl (a local pottery, Pottemaker Simonsen, still makes them) and the traditional Sandnes flute in the shape of a bird. I've written several times about these, so I won't bore you with repeating everything. If you like, you can check out my previous posts about this pottery, here, here and here.


I have tons of terracotta pots, they look better and better with time. See what I mean by greenhouse? The Monstera (second from the left) is one of my favorites.

Then there's the germans.... Scheurich and Bay were obviously big on planters, and there's a lot of it around. I even spotted some new Scheurich in a garden center a while ago, so they're still around. It was nothing like the sixties stuff though, they were plain white... These two first ones are rather big and have THE greatest muted orangy red combined with dark brown. These cacti resided in them until recently, then I found this strange and wonderful orchid...


Below, you can see them "in situ" (hideous light dimmer alert). I don't think I've shown you this corner of my livingroom. I'm trying to gradually phase out my ikea, but this PS sideboard is still around. It's a short wall betwen the chimney and where the living room bends into an L. Hopefully one day I'll find some teak in the right width... I've combined the planters with a Scheurich Bowl and an Ekeby vase, both in the same color combo.

These next Scheurich fat lava planters I picked up in Stavanger, on the thrifting spree I had with my mum. There was a third one, I can't believe why on earth I didn't get that one too. I've paired them with a large Scheurich vase, which is really a floor vase, that picks up the caramel colored glaze. I have another very similar one too, with green glaze instead of the brown.


I love the glaze on these. To me, they look a bit more 70s than 60s, but I can't be sure. They "touch the ground" differently, the small ones with a base, the typical "german planter way", the largest one is straight all the way down. sadly the plant in the latter has died since this picture was taken.


More handsome germans, as we like to call them. these are among the first I got. Two of them are residing on my teak credenza. The third, the Bay that my little thrifter found for me, enjoys the companty of my newly thrifted Carstens in the kitchen window.

Finally, my wild child. It's ugly in a nice way. Or the other way around. Is it over the top or not? I can't decide...

This post is gonna be a long one, I can see where this is going... I thought I'd throw in the latest finds too, just to keep the winner of my giveaway in suspense:-) I stumbled upon a flea market yesterday in the driveway of a lovely lady. She told me she loved arranging flea markets, and had one every time her mum and aunt cleared out their cabinets. Her prices were ridiculously low, and I walked away, or drove off, rather, with this piece of danish studio pottery bowl marked "Ernst - handmade - Faxe - Denmark - 8-73" If you conoisseurs out there know more, I'd be interested! Sadly, it's a bit chipped, but hey, it was only a ten'er (that's a dollar and a half)!!

I got this one for about the same amount! Figgjo daisy skillet, by the amazing Turi Gramstad Oliver. 

I also picked up these Egersund cups. They're the same design as Korulen and Unique (by Kaare Block Johansen) but have a different pattern, also very 70s. I've seen this pattern before, but don't know the name of it, anyone?

I found this beautiful teapot in a charity store. You all probably know this pattern, but if you don't, it's Stavangerflint Sera, design by Kåre Berven Fjeldsaa, decor by Inger Waage. Love the colors and the 60s graphics!

Found another souvenir plate, handpainted by Inger Waage. I've decided to buy only the Stavanger ones, but couldn't resist one from Kristiansand. It's a city my kids love, it's on the southern tip of Norway, a great vacation spot for families. There's a zoo and a theme park baked into one great child paradise. Mine have outgrown it years ago, but the sound of this city's name obviously rings some great sounding bells. And my plates are up on the kitchen wall now!! These things don't happen overnight with me...

Finally, I'll announce who will be the next owner of a Stavangerflint plate, handpainted by Inger Waage. With the help of some WG pottery, I drew the winner today, who is.....drumwhirl.....

That's Kylie of Lucy Violet Vintage!!! It will arrive in the mail shortly, Kylie!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Egersund Unique

They are, arent't they? Simple, yet unique? This post is gonna be a sunny one, color and pattern- wise:-) I got these last weekend too, together with the pieces in my last post, but decided they deserve a post of they're own. 

Egersund Unique is handpainted and the pieces therefore have an individual look and on the olivegreenish brown edges you can clearly see the brushstrokes. Unique was designed by Kaare Block Johansen in 1971 and was in production until 1976, just a few years before Egersund Fajanse closed down in 1979.

There's very little information to be found about Kaare Block Johansen, which is strange and sad, as he made these wonderful and iconic designs. I've found however, that he was at the factory from the 50s and that he was their last remaining designer before they closed down. 


Unique was very popular and has become an icon of norwegian early 70s design, I guess it captured the sunny happy vibe of that decade really well. I found the milk jug in Stavanger this summer. With this color, they're easy to spot:-)

I have a Korulen set from an earlier catch, with two large serving plates and three lidded bowls. I know I've shown you before, but these two need to be seen in relation. The lids are especially gorgeous. Korulen is exactly the same design by kaare Block Johansen, but the sunflower pattern is designed by Unni Margrethe Johnsen. Johnsen finished her education at Statens håndverks- og kunstindustriskole in 1966 at the age of 24 and were immediately employed by Porsgrund Porselænsfabrik.

She was characterized as a breath of fresh air. Not surprising, seeing her wonderful design. For the next nine years, she designed both for PP and Egersund Fayanse. From the mid 70s she set up her own studio, where she consentrated on working with clay. Her work from the mid 80s and early 90s are concidered her most artistically significant. I wish I could find some examples. Sadly she passed away in an accident in 2001, only 59 years old. 


The great thing with these two designs is that they mix really well. Just look at those sunny concoctions below!


When I tell you the design is from 71, it's no typo. I haven't been able to find out what the number 73 stands for, it might be the actual production year. Notice how the handpainted Unique is marked differently.

Wanna know some more about Egersund Fayanse? It was founded in 1847 under the name Egersunds Potteri by Johan Feyer who himself was a pottery maker, trained in Newcastle upon Tyne. Feyer brought english pottery makers to Egersund to teach the craft to local workers. For the first 20 years, the factory produced the brown pottery that this region is known for (see examples here) made from local clay. In 1851 the factory had 26 employees.

In 1863 Feyer started the transformation prosess to start producing white pottery, the so- called fajanse, and the factory was renamed Egersunds Fayancefabrik. They hired swedish pottery makers from Rørstrand and english labourers. The fayence was produced out of a mixture of clay, kaolin, danish flint and norwegian quartz. The first years, pottery with a simle decor were made, often transfer prints, inspired by other makers, magazines and so on. Eventually, the company developed a strong artistic profile, and were associated with artists like Kitty Kielland, Jacob Sømme (who designed one of their most iconic products, the Puffin jug), Oluf Wold-Torne, Andreas Schneider, Andreas Ollestad, Jacob Bjorheim and Theodor Friestad. Alongside everyday household products, they also made more prestigious pieces, like enormous vases for exhibitions (you can see an example in this post, a large art nouveau piece from 1910 by Andreas Ollestad). 

The factory burned down in 1905, but was rebuilt in 1907 with bigger capacity and electrical power. It expanded profoundly in 1950 to meet the demands of the post- war years, and the work force were close to 500. The harsh demands of mass production eventually forced them to join forces with other companies. In 1967, the factory merged with Porsgrunds Porselænsfabrik, from 1975- 77 they were owned by Arabia and from 1978 by Upsala- Ekeby, until they were closed down in 1979. To my understanding, they produced locally under their own brand until the end.

For more than 132 years, the factory produced a wide variety of designs, that shows the various trends within the art- and design world during that period, from the brown household pottery, to elaborate art nouveau pieces, cutting edge art deco and early modernist designs and the "golden age" of scandinavian pottery, the nation- building post- war years. Many examples are shown in the wonderful Egersund pottery museum, have a look over here.

I keep thinking what other great designs they could have made if they weren't closed down. But I guess, as we can see with Figgjo, which is still up and running, the market changed, the import increased and they have generally been faced with more competition and new demands. What was produced at Figgjo after the 70s and early 80s has not by far reached the same iconic status as their earlier designs, and they have concentrated on the professional market, restaurants, hotels and cruise ships.  Luckily, there's still quite a bit of their designs from those golden years out there for us to enjoy!

PS. I've linked up with Max over at Blackbird has spoken for her Op shop Show- off! Head on over to behold some lovely thrifted stuff!
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