The ceramics created by Stig Lindberg helped to revolutionize post-war design. His employers at Gustavsberg – one of Sweden’s leading ceramic factories – gave him the freedom to explore the decorative and sculptural properties of both clay and glazes.
Frederik Sigurd (Stig) Lindberg (1916-1982) studied at the Swedish School of Arts, Craft and Design. Despite showing great skill as a painter he went to work at Gustavsberg in 1937. There, he studied and worked under their talented art director Wilhelm Kage.
By 1942, an experimental Studio pottery division had been created within the factory, and in that year Lindberg launched the first range that was to define his hallmark style. The range was fresh and new yet also closely bound to its Scandinavian roots. The pieces burst with bright colour, modern designs and curving forms. Multi-coloured teardrops vie with contrastingly dots with hatching and simple, alternately coloured ‘veins’ on leaf-shaped dishes in the ‘Spectrum Leaf’ series. Many dishes and vases are shaped like curving leaves or buds, taking their inspiration from the natural world. Inspiration from nature grew to be a key aspect of what is now called ‘Scandinavian modernism’
Lindberg didn’t stop breaking ground there either. By the mid 1950s, he had moved away from softer, curving lines and bright colours to harsher angles and a more sober monochrome palette. One of his best known ranges from this time was the ‘Domino’ range, which comprised simple, clean-lined shapes covered with a myriad of rows of white triangles on a black background.
A rounded rectangular dish hand from the 1950s, painted with lines and dots in bright colours may fetch several hundred pounds, with examples decorated with teardrops in gently graduated, yet vibrant, colours are often worth even more than that.
On the other hand, pieces of the Bohus Bersa range of oven-to-table ware, designed in 1960 and produced until 1974, can change hands for less than one hundred pounds. But, if you’re lucky you may find examples in charity shops and car boot sales for much less.