Gutte Eriksen

Gutte Eriksen (1918-2008) was educated at the Danish Design School in Copenhagen, but also spent a period with Bernard Leach in St Ives in the late 1940s. Yet despite her clear debt to European and Japanese functional traditions, Eriksen managed to develop her own very concentrated language which drew both on the strengths of medieval pottery and a Scandinavian sensibility that focussed on simple forms and rich deep glazing. Eriksen produced big bold dishes, cylinders and bottles defined by darkened and pitted surfaces given character by repeated visits to the kiln. David Attenborough got it right when he described her pots as having the powerful Northern qualities of Sibelius, and certainly her work reflected her own strength of personality. Her influence also found an outlet in her memorable teaching at Jutland Academy of Fine Arts in Aarhus.


David Whiting