Scandinavian and Japanese design have much in common. The clean lines and the idea that the simplistic and harmonious is what is beautiful. The emphasis on thoughtful design and workmanship in everyday objects. I like to use Scandianvian midcentury ceramics as containers for ikebana arrangements. It enables me to add something from my own culture and still keep a classical and elegant look. It's true that you can use any container from any culture, but the result must always be harmonious.
Swedish midcentury ceramics, Rörstrand Studio,
Gunnar Nylund and Carl Harry Stålhane.
In the early 1900s European ceramicists started experimenting with stoneware using Japanese techniques. Uneven surfaces and running glazes were new and exotic. Japanese ceramics such as 16th century raku tea wares, wood fired pots from Shigaraki and Bizen and Jomon figures, could be studied up close at the world exhibitions in Paris.
Danish midcentury ceramics,
Saxbo and Palshus.
In Scandinavia ceramicists started working individually and in smaller workshops in the 1940's. The Japanese traditions and the new French 'art de feu' ceramics had a great impact on Danish and Swedish ceramics. The Swedish pioneer Gunnar Nylund learned the new techniques in Denmark before introducing stoneware at the Swedish Rörstrand porcelain factory. In Sweden elegant stoneware was created by now famous ceramicists like Wilhelm Kåge, Carl Harry Stålhane and Stig Lindberg. Today as Danish and Swedish ceramics and porcelain from the Scandinavian design era is becoming increasingly popular in Japan, the circle is closed and influences are going in both directions.