Spring Birds in Winter

Swedish Ceramic Bird Pair by Sculptor Erik Engqvist (LEO Design)

The soft spring colors of these two ceramic birds—mother and chick—have alighted just as winter’s snow begins to fall!  Nevertheless, they’ll be happy (and safe) ’til Spring.

The pair was made in the 1960’s by Artist Erik Engqvist for Swedish ceramics workshop Jie Gantofta.  “Jie” was the nickname of John Ewert Johnson and he founded his company in 1942.  He started producing wooden items like trays and coasters—adding earthenware household goods in 1952: canisters, mugs, plates, trays and tea sets.  Initially hand-painted, the company moved to screen-printed decoration which proved to be cost efficient.  In the 1960’s, he began to produce decorative items (like the birds above) and began hiring a series of designer-artists to create the models.  The workshop produced vases, wall plaques, sculpture and other figurines with the help of many designers. All the while, Jie himself did much of the clay production—casting, throwing plates on a machine, and developing a “ceramics press” to quickly turn-out pieces for decoration and firing.  Johnson’s son, Staffan, an ornithologist by trade, came aboard and helped with production—during which time many bird-themed objects were crafted.

Let this bright pair of  pleasant birds bring a touch of spring to your winter-bound home.