Porsgrunds Porselænsfabrik is Norwegian porcelain manufacturer. For more than 130 years, it has supplied the Norwegian market with crockery and ornaments in porcelain. From 1930 to 1980, Porsgrund was one of Norway’s leading design companies, and they received both national and international design awards.

The beginnings

Founded by Johan Jeremiassen in 1885, Porsgrund Porcelain in Porsgrunn started production on 10 February 1887. The first and largest porcelain factory in Norway was still in its original buildings in the mid-2000s, using its original recipes. 

5 piece place setting item

At the Nordic Industry, Agriculture and Art Exhibition in Copenhagen in 1888, Porsgrund’s Porcelain Factory displayed historical styles within a high price segment. After a few years of operation, the factory began to engage renowned artists for individual assignments. The very first example of this was Gerhard Munthe, who made the decor Blaaveis in 1892.

Underglaze 

The factory was divided into units responsible for industrial production and craftsmanship, and established artists were employed as designers and decorators. In 1901, Porsgrund set up an underglaze decoration department, which Arnold Krog completed at the Kongelige Porcelænsfabrik in Copenhagen. 

Porsgrund 1885 – 2002 mark

Visual artist Thorolf Holmboe was of great importance for Porsgrund’s rich and expressive nature motifs taken from a Norwegian reality and recreated in the underglaze technique. Even with such products in its range, Porsgrund’s production lacked an artistic identity. Therefore, the company was heavily criticized for this older, naturalistic decor during the Association of Applied Arts’ ceramic exhibition in 1918.

Designers hired

Succesful modern designs began to be produced with the hiring of designers; Hans Flygenring in 1920 and Nora Gulbrandsen in 1927.

In 1903, Rose Martin, a Dane who had done technical work at the Kongelige Porcelænsfabrik, was appointed its technical director. Nora Gulbrandsen (1894–1978) was artistic director from 1928 to 1945; Art Deco and Functionalist designs were prominent under her leadership.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Galicki, M., Storsletten, O., Seip, E., Tucker, M., Christie, S., Berman, P., Lien, S., Kokkin, J., Anker, P., Opstad, L., Campbell, ., Kjellberg, A., Brekke, N., Skedsmo, T., Tschudi-Madsen, S., Meyer, S., & Cieszkowski, K. (2003). Norway, Kingdom of. Grove Art . Retrieved 25 January 2021, from https://www-oxfordartonline-com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/groveart/view/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.001.0001/oao-9781884446054-e-7000062796.

Larsen, F., Porselænsfabrik, P., Mæhlum, L., Nasjonalmuseet, Linder, M., & Bjørgli, N. /. Porsgrunds Porselænsfabrik. Store norske leksikon. https://snl.no/Porsgrunds_Porsel%C3%A6nsfabrik.

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