When talking of people who have contributed immensely towards the development of Danish design and its modern idea, the name Finn Juhl would come to mind. He aspired to study art history at a reputable academy, but his father was against this decision. Instead, he was advised to study architecture, which was regarded as more lucrative during that time. Juhl’s inspiration came from the wonderful and purposeful buildings he saw at the Stockholm Show. By the 1940s, Finn Juhl was already at the peak of his career. With his innovative designs, he became a leading furniture industrial designer and portrayed Denmark as ground-breaking in the area of furniture and artistic design.
Harry Bertoia was an Italian-born American graphic artist, sculptor and designer. Even as a child, Bertoia would already be asked to design embroidery patterns for wedding days. An art teacher was impressed by his talent and offered to tutor the young Bertoia. But this did not last long, as the teacher realised that he had nothing new to teach him. The teacher suggested further training abroad. Bertoia travelled to the US and got scholarships to schools of art in different States. He also worked with famous designers like Eames. Harry Bertoia would create all throughout the 1960s and the 1970s. He was so in demand that he had to turn down commissions and exhibits.
Australian artist Donald Stuart Leslie Friend was born from a family of a moneyed background. He received early education at prestigious institutions. After a scandalous liaison with a young Thai boy, Donald ran away from home. He returned to Sydney with his first series of drawings and studied under an Italian-born artist. Donald would later go on to travel to London and study under various renowned English and French artists. As a war artist in World War II, his encounters with Japanese fatalities would become subjects of his art. He also created many works of young male nudes. Despite Friend’s controversies with his sexuality, he was celebrated for his art and unstinting generosity. He was a friend indeed.
A very rare piece of Tasmanian “Convict Period” silver by Joseph Forrester (1805–c. 1860) was up for sale in Devonport by Island State Auctions. The main side of the salver is ornately chased with decorations of kangaroos, swans and other birds, with native Flora and is amongst the earliest examples of the use of Australian flora and fauna in decorative arts…
Clement Meadmore was best known for his massive outdoor steel sculptures that can be found all around the world. He was an Australian-American sculptor, designer and author. Meadmore was greatly influenced by his mother who was a great admirer of the arts. He initially majored in aeronautical engineering, but quickly took a formal industrial design course when the opportunity arose. Meadmore promoted himself by designing furniture that met with more than a modicum of success until 1953, the same year his first sculpture was put up for sale. When creating furniture, he treated his work as if it were a problem that needed to be solved.
Arne Emil Jacobsen was a famous Danish furniture designer and architect who was known for his plethora of works with international acclaim. Inspired by his mother, he wanted to become a painter but he was discouraged by his dad who believed a career in architecture would provide a more stable job. So, Jacobsen was admitted into an academy of fine arts where he studied architecture. It did not take long for his talent to become noticed. He won a silver medal for a chair he designed. He would continue to receive multiple awards throughout his career, and his works would continue to inspire many architects in our time.
Marcel Lajos Breuer was a designer and architect best known for his design of the iconic Wassily Chair, as well as his contribution to modern architecture. He left art school after finding out he didn’t like the study of painting and became an apprentice to a Viennese architect instead. Throughout his career, Breuer’s architecture and design underwent several, but distinct and recognisable phases. Besides being an architect and an educator, he was also a very good furniture designer. Ultimately, Breuer made a huge impact on modernist architecture and design. In fact, his furniture designs are so influential and popular that they are still being produced by some furniture companies today.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German-American architect who was best known for “skin and bones” architecture, as he called it. Mies never had any formal training but he grew up helping his father with construction work. By the age of 15, he was already apprenticed to a number of architects around town. In 1913, Mies opened up his own shop in Lichterfelde. The First World War derailed his career for a little while as Mies served in the military. After the war, he came back and started to design in a more modernist style. By the mid-1920s, Mies had established himself as a leading avant-garde architect.
Australian Impressionist Frederick McCubbin was the third son of a family who emigrated to Australia. His father secured him a job as a lawyer’s clerk, but this came to a rapid end when Frederick’s father was shown the theatres he created out of paper to entertain himself. Frederick remained determined to become an artist and, on a whim, signed up for design and art classes. However, his ambitions were put on hold after his father’s death so he could assist with running the family business. Frederick managed to return to his studies. He would later sell a number of his works and hold a number of local solo exhibitions in his lifetime.
Arthur was the third of nine children born to Hannah and Benjamin Barlow. Arthur and his sister, Hannah, were both students at the Lambeth School of Art, and they were among a group of students who were taken on by Doulton’s. Arthur soon showed his talent and designed beautiful jugs and vases, usually with naturalistic swirling foliate designs. Sadly, Arthur died young, but because of the relatively short time he worked with Royal Doulton, there are comparatively fewer pieces surviving than those of his sisters. The rarity and beauty of his pieces make them highly desirable additions to any collection.
Premier Pottery, a leading Australian Pottery Brand, was established by Reg Hawkins and David Dee in Melbourne, Australia. The initial trade names given to the business were “PPP” (Premier Pottery Preston), then “Remued”. The pottery’s naming concept was different than other potteries of that time, which went by the names of their owners. But because of this concept, it would seem that the pottery produced factory-made works. To assure their customers that their works were handcrafted, they named the pottery “Pamela”. Pamela Pottery paid more attention to creating potteries of various kinds that were mainly ornamental, as opposed to many potteries that were focused on producing various functional works.
Arthur Merric Boyd started his pottery adventure by watching his parents, who were outstanding potters and painters themselves. Even though Arthur was mainly known as a painter, his brand, known as the AMB brand of pottery, stands out as a leading brand of pottery in Australia. Arthur Merric Boyd (AMB) Pottery was established by Arthur and two of his colleagues. In 1958, Arthur went to England to become one of the most renowned Australian painters in England. Since he was not as active in pottery making any more, he eventually closed down the pottery. Nevertheless, Arthur’s name lived on and remains popular to this day thanks to his two colleagues.
Nellie McCredie started out as an outstanding female architect, but her career was short-lived as there were not many female architects at the time. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop Nellie’s passion to create suitable dwellings. Her academic achievement and her ambitions pushed her far. Although she accomplished many projects, only a handful of them could be linked to her as designers seldom signed their work. Nellie gained interest in pottery and learned it from Lewis Jarvis Harvey himself. She went on to become a professional potter and even ran a pottery studio. Despite the circumstances of her time, Nellie made her mark in both pottery and architecture.
Is Brown Back? Firstly, I really don’t like the term “brown furniture”, currently used to describe Georgian, Victorian […]
Una Deerbon can be said to be a painter, a fashion designer, a potter, and a general artist. She attended a few schools of art where she learned painting. She also partook in needlework classes where she developed an interest in fashion design. She designed clothes for David Jones department store and later opened a fashion studio. Una did exhibitions for needlework and pottery in which she showcased over 200 pieces of pottery. Her handwork possessed a delicate appeal, with a fine combination of colours and designs. It also has a touch of humour and exuberance. What made Una remarkable is her unique versatility in the art industry.
If we think of the aesthetics of the 80’s, we immediately make a mental image of bright colours, graphic patterns, and asymmetrical shapes. We can thank the Memphis Group for this. One of them was Ettore Sottsass, an Italian architect and designer. After working with his father on restoring destroyed buildings during the war, he moved to Milan to set up his own design studio. During this time, he experimented with working on a variety of media. Sottsass, with his experimental mind, created the Memphis Group as a way to join forces with his colleagues who share his design principles. Ultimately, he changed the way people see mundane objects.
Thomas George Dufty Bosley started making pottery when he was nine years old, following in the footsteps of his father and his uncle, who later became his stepfather. He was known for his work of glazed frogs, gnomes, and the glazed Beethoven Bust when he was working as an apprentice with his stepfather. When Thomas George had nothing to fall back on during the depression in 1929, he bought pottery materials from where he formerly worked. From this, he was able to start his own pottery. Bosley Ware Pottery would later be known for its brilliant glazing with bright colours and figurines of animals.
Frederick Marshall, a stonemason, and Elizabeth Vasler had a son whom they named Mark. Little did they know, Mark was to become one of the most creative and innovative craftsmen of Royal Doulton. Like George Tinworth, Mark trained at the Lambeth School of Art. For a short period of time, he worked for the Martin Brothers, where he developed his taste for weird and wonderful designs like his reptiles and dragons. Mark brought his personal style with him when he joined Royal Doulton. He drew inspiration from different sources such as literature, discoveries made at the time, and even his wife.