Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ceramic Master Bjørn Wiinblad

Bjørn as young man and later in his life alongside an example of one of his many collectable wall plaques
Left: More pieces from my collection, Photography: Marcus Hay, Right: A poster design for the Tivoli Gardens
Left: A piece from my collection, Photography: Marcus Hay, Right: Bird vessel
More pieces from my collection, Photography: Marcus Hay
More pieces from my collection, Photography: Marcus Hay
Various pieces by Bjørn Wiinblad

In Elle Decoration, October, 2010, Photography: Mikkel Mortensen

From my collection on right, Phtography: Marcus Hay

It’s amazing how certain artist’s work can stick in your mind a lifetime, I suppose subconsciously Bjørn Wiinblad’s (1918-2006) work has always seemed familiar to me, perhaps as a child I was drawn to it’s whimsy and a sense of childhood innocence, but I do remember seeing his designs on plates and vases in many homes of my parent’s friends as a kid and always loving his characters and motifs. I am sure many of my German and Scandinavian friends would be very familiar with his work, I believe he even had a store in Copenhagen right up until the late 1980’s.

He was best known as the Rosenthal Porcelain company's chief designer for 35 years, but his career spanned more than 60 years, covering a wide range of mediums including ceramics, metals, glass, stage and poster design, furniture, illustrations, textiles, tapestries and ceramic decorations for hotels and restaurants in Japan, USA & the UK.

Bjørn Wiinblad was born in Denmark, As Wikepedia states “Characteristics of Wiinblad's work include whimsical round-faced people, dressed in vaguely 19th-century costume. They are often surrounded by natural elements: twining vines, floral wreaths, and fantastical trees. When Wiinblad employed color, he did so with great assurance. His colors are saturated and strong--sometimes almost psychedelic and are often supplemented with metallic gold or silver”

I have been collecting with glee, Bjørn’s work largely from Rosenthal for many years. Whenever back in Germany, I gather with vigor as many pieces as I can find as it seems his work for the German ceramic company seems most available here. To me his talent was so profound, his passion so obvious, He is truly and inspiration to me on so many levels. Elle Decoration in the UK www.elledecoration.co.uk, ran a piece on his house “The Blue House” in their October issue last year, As mentioned in the article you can actually do a tour with his niece Tina Wiinblad Richter, 00 45 24 44 16 69, This is something I would love to do on my next trip back to Denmark, It would be amazing to see where he lived and worked for more than 40 years.  

I would encourage you all to get to know and love his work more, He is an artist truly worth celebrating.   


  1. Hello Marcus

    I was very interested in your article. I have had for many years an original sketch by Bjorn Wiinblad which I treasure. The picture is of a rounded woman holding a dove which probably led to some pottery patterns. It is pencil/charcoal drawing with a creamish wash. Very beautiful.

    best wishes


  2. Hi P Harper, I am very envious, It must be so lovely to have an original sketch! I hope you have beautifully framed and enjoy it everyday! Thanks for sharing! M.

  3. I too am fortunate enough to have an original sketch, actually 3 of them! He designed some greeting cards for a company called the Drawing Board, in Dallas, when my sister was also working at that company. He made 3 sketches, signed them, then changed his mind & tossed them into the trash can. As soon as he left, my sister took them out of the trash. Of all of my Wiinblad items, those are some of my most treaured!

  4. Wow, An amazing story Unknown, Thanks for sharing, I will have to try and find some of the work he did for The Drawing Board! Am intrigued! All the best, Marcus.

  5. what is the top bird vessel worth?