Posted 8 years ago
A few months ago I found this piece at the Collectors Fair here on Sydney. It was my second piece of GLIT. I had bought my first almost twenty years ago knowing nothing at all about the origin of the piece. Later I found reference to the mark and retraced it back to the land of Björk!
Glit is a ceramic studio founded by Ragnar Kjartansson (1923-1988).
Ragnar studied under Guthmundur fra Mithdal (1895-1963) an Icelandic artist and Asmundi Sveinssyni, a sculptor. Later Ragnar opened his first ceramic studio, Funi Keramik, in 1947.
The pottery first housed in the old downtown at 13 Odinsgata street, Reykjavík, Iceland. The first equipment and the ovens were built by Ragnar Kjartansson, who was the driving force behind the product development and design of the company. He was a member of the Icelandic Sculptors Society which he established in the Icelandic capital in 1972 along with Hallsteinn Siguryhsson, Jon Gunnar Arnason, Porbjörg Palsdottir and others.
This is a biggie!
The pieces of lava are very sharp.
You should keep them away from glass because that lava can scratch.
Within all of the grey brown there are little touches of fiery red!
Earlier this year in Iceland there was an exhibition of GLIT at Iceland's Museum of Design and Applied Art:
A GLIMPSE OF GLIT (8.2. – 26.5. 2013)
Production of Icelandic ceramic art between 1958-1973
"On Museum Night the Museum of Design and Applied Art opens an exhibition featuring chosen items from the Glit Pottery from between the years 1958 and 1973. The exhibition places emphasis on the fact that despite its complicated history over many years of operation, Glit was adamantly devoted to utilizing Icelandic clay and ground minerals in production during its first decade of operation—especially hardened lava.
Glit was, in many ways, well ahead of its time—making deep impressions in the history of Icelandic ceramic art. The Glit Pottery LLC was founded on June 10, 1958 by Einar Eliasson, a businessman; Pétur Saemundsen, then head of the Federation of Icelandic Industries and later head of the Industrial Bank (Ithnatharbanki); and Ragnar Kjartansson, sculptor and ceramic artist. The pottery, operated at Othinsgata downtown Reykjavik until 1971, when the decision was made to expand the company and move its operations to Höfthi. The company’s time at Othnsgata is often referred to as the “Old Glit”, and the company as it operated at Höfthi called “The Big Glit.”
Glit’s administration had lofty artistic ambitions immediately upon the company’s founding. Ideas about expansion and exportation came early on, so that nearly from its inception the company operated under the highest of standards and was unyielding in their demand to withstand all comparison. Many of this country’s best-known artists of the 20th century worked at Glit at one point or another, remembering the place as an artistic breeding ground, especially during the time when Ragnar was in charge of the manufacturing workshop at Othinsgata. Technological advances and the desire to increase production led Glit to shift gears, moving them from Iceland’s history of art and design and into its industrial history.
The exhibition “A Glimpse of Glit” includes many items from the Pottery, both from Othinsgata (where operations lasted between 1958-1971) as well as from Höfthi. The company’s physical move reflected the changing emphasis of its production, as it took place at the same time as artistic direction shifted from Ragnar Kjartansson to the German ceramic artist Gerhard Schwarz, who took over in 1968."