Bertel Gardberg (1916 – 2007) Finnish Jeweller and Metalworker

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Bertel Gardberg Candlesticks

Bertel Gardberg (1916 – 2007) was a Finnish jeweller and metal worker. He is considered one of the greatest masters of Finnish craftsmanship. Gardberg was active as an artist in for over 50 years and he contributed greatly to the world reputation of Finnish design. He worked with jewellery and small sculptures – as well as with commissioned works and industrial design. He worked a lot with silver but also other materials, such as stone, wood, steel, brass and tin, were often found in his creations.

Biography

Between 1938-1941 he studied at Taideteollin Korkeaukoulu, Helsinki. He began his working life in Copenhagen. Gardberg moved to Helsinki where he maintained a studio between 1949-1966. He was responsible for stainless steel and silver designs produced by the Georg Jensen Solvsmedie; Galeries Lafayette department store, Paris and Kilkenny Design workshops, Dublin. Although he was known for his metal wares, he also worked in wood and stone.

Stool, "Sauna", designed by Bertel Gardberg for Villa Jouhki, Finland, 1950's
Stool, “Sauna”, designed by Bertel Gardberg for Villa Jouhki, Finland, 1950’s

He attempted to revive Ireland’s decorative arts and promote craftsmanship locally. He was the artistic director of Kilkenny Design workshop, Dublin. Between 1966-68. He was the head of design and technical director of Rionor, Kilkenny. His cutlery and stainless steel models were produced by Fiskars, Hackman and Hopeatehds. He designed wooden pieces and ecclesiastical and domestic silver produced by Noormarkun kotitedhsas. In 1973 he set-up a studio, Pohja (Finland) where he continued his activities in woodworking, metal wares, and silver jewellery, into which he incorporated, as previously developed in Ireland, precious and semi-precious stones.

  • Cultery with wooden handles by Bertel Gardberg
  • Silver ring designed by Bertel Gardeberg
  • Bowl and ladle with wooden handle designed by Bertel Gardberg
  • Meat-dish, carved teak, round dish with two pyramid-shaped knops in the centre designed by Bertel Gardberg
  • 'Canton' casserole dish with lid, stainless steel designed by Bertel Gardberg

Sources

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

Collections Online: British Museum. Collections Online | British Museum. (n.d.). https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/term/BIOG223903.

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