Posted 5 years ago
A couple of days ago I came across this vase at Vinnies and it was whisked off back home to meet its bigger friend already posted here on CW. Up until now I had thought that the Lava Ceramics pieces were a design by Ragnar Kjartansson. I now am not so sure.
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.”
What interests me about this new piece is that it does not have an impressed mark and signature. But it has an old label that reads "Iceland 1972". The label is in English and is not a factory label ... it looks like a gallery label. But it suggests a date of 1972.
That puts this piece into the period called "The Big Glit".
Going back over my research I've realised that this piece may well not be a design by Ragnar Kjartansson but rather a design by Gerhard Schwarz.
In 2013 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
"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."
The quote above suggests to me that the Lava Ceramics pieces may well be the work of Schwarz rather than Kjartansson. The work in English and in Icelandic on the factory is pretty scant.
Perhaps others may know more about these wares?
I'm still waiting to come across a piece from the earlier period: Old Glit.
But for the moment I want to know a bit more about Gerhard Schwarz. All I have been able to find out so far is that his period at Glit was from 1968 til 1973. The search for more information goes on .....
The vase is 17 cm or 6.7" tall.