In the 20th century Sweden produced many ceramic plates.
Ceramic plates are not very familiar in Japan, but there is a culture in Scandinavia that uses pottery as decorations in a pictorial way.
There are ceramic plates made in Denmark and Finland, but a large number of ceramic plates were produced especially in Sweden.
Today, I would like to touch on a short history of Jii Gantofuta, one of the potteries.
The correct pronunciation of Gantofta in Swedish is "Ye Gantofta".
In Swedish, the J sound is pronounced in the same way as the Y sound.
Here we call him Jii Gantofuta idiomatically.
Gantofta was founded in 1942 in Helsingborg, a port town in southwestern Sweden bordering Denmark.
The founder was John Ewert Johnson, nicknamed Jie.
The company was originally called AB Jie Johnsons Keramiska Fabrik, but two years later, in 1944, due to the expansion of production, the workshop was moved to Gantofta, an inland area of Helsingborg. has moved.
It seems that the company name Jii Gantofuta was established around this time.
(Photo: Gantofta logo)
It seems that the reason for the move was that the workshop needed a large site, and that it was easy to obtain pottery clay suitable for pottery.
At the time, it was in the middle of World War II, but Sweden remained neutral throughout the two world wars.
In the middle of the 20th century, Scandinavia was generally a poor country, but it could be said that the cultural accumulation gained at that time by keeping a certain distance from war had an impact on the subsequent history of Scandinavian modernity. .
In fact, at the beginning of its founding, Gantofuta mainly manufactured fixtures such as plates, cups, and seasoning containers.
(Photo: Gantofuta plate manufactured in the 1950s)
This plate was designed by Ella Bergstrand, the designer who was enrolled in the earliest period.
The color of the glaze is vivid and deep, and it is carefully decorated with hand paint.
At that time, all processes were done by hand.
Another famous designer is Anita Nylund.
Anita Nylund's father is Gunnar Nylund, a great ceramic artist representing Northern Europe. Anita is a designer of the same age as Lisa Larson, studied at a painting school called Otte Skölds målarskola in Stockholm, the capital, and worked at Gantofta after moving to Paris for a while.
Known for her designs are Janssons frestelse (Mr. Jansson's Temptation) and Familjen Pepparsson (Pepper's Family), which use ethnic patterns. In any case, her designs also centered on tableware.
(Photo: A three-legged jug designed by Anita Nylund)
The turning point came with the appearance of Aimo Nietosvuori.
Gustavsberg and Rörstrand were well-known Swedish pottery makers at the time, and in the neighboring country of Finland, ARABIA was on the rise. I was entering the season.
It was truly a time of rivalry among manufacturers of pottery.
It seems that Gantofta was also forced to change policy in such a situation.
Aimo Nietosvuori, who joined the company in 1967, was initially in charge of designing candle stands, etc., but as an exclusive designer, he devised a embossed ceramic plate.
The embossing method involves pressing clay into a wooden mold and firing the formed clay once to create an unglazed ceramic plate. Then, the surface is colored with a glaze like paint, and then fired again to fix it.
By doing so, you will be able to mass-produce interior works like small paintings.
(Photo: Nietosvuori wild strawberry porcelain plate)
Annika Kihlman was a Gantofuta designer who was active at the same time.
You can read subtle differences in the production process depending on the designer.
(Photo: Kielmann porcelain plate with traces of spatula visible)
With the advent of Nietosvuori, almost 100% of Gantofuta's products are made of ceramic plates.
The works produced at this time include the Swedish state flower series, ceramic plate clocks, and ceramic plates depicting Nordic landscapes.
(Photo: Gantofta state flower series ceramic plate)
Nietosvuori is almost the designer for the series. The signature of Nietosvuori is mainly engraved on the lower right front and back of the ceramic plate. The number of ceramic plates he has designed goes up to about 1,300.
However, the performance of such a monopoly production system is greatly influenced by public interest.
In the latter half of the 1960s, they released ceramic plates, and in the 1970s and 1980s, they seemed to have maintained their business performance.
Art has the power to enrich people's hearts, but ironically, the value of art declines more during recessions.
In the 1990s, the leading Nordic pottery manufacturers also downsized their businesses one after another and moved their production bases overseas.
Gantofuta ceases operations in December 1992.
After that, there was an attempt to move the production base overseas, but in the end it did not go well.
This year marked the half-century anniversary of our founding.
(Photo: Nietosvuori's signature supporting the bones of Gantofta)
Gantofuta produced ceramic plates from the late 1960s to 1992.
It was actually a short period of about 20 years, but it seems that it was a big hit for a while.
Even today, you can see many Gantt futa porcelain plates in the antique market.
The same wooden pattern is used for ceramic plates throughout these periods, and there is basically no difference in design depending on the period.
However, the later the works, the brighter the color of the glaze, closer to fluorescent colors.
You can feel that various trials and errors were also carried out for the raw materials of the glaze.
(Photo: Early work [left] and late work [right] of the same model)
Also, at first, many ceramic plates with large unglazed areas were produced.
As the era progressed, the front shifted to a ceramic plate with a thick glaze on the front.
I think there were many complaints about the unglazed parts getting dirty easily and getting sunburned easily.
Basically, dirt on unglazed parts cannot be removed.
(Photo: An early Gantofuta snow country ceramic panel that makes use of the whiteness of the clay)
However, unlike paintings, ceramic plates basically do not deteriorate.
The colors trapped in the glaze are eternal.
Furthermore, if you take care of sunburn and dirt, you can hand it over to future generations for decades or even 100 years.
After that, if you are careful not to drop it and break it, the ceramic board will be an interior that you can enjoy for the rest of your life.
Please take this opportunity to see our ceramic plate collection .
Until the end Thank you for reading.