Gunnar Nylund (1904-1997)
Ceramic Bear Cub (Björnunge)
Produced by Rörstrand
Incised 'R (three crowns) GN SWEDEN'
H:5 x W:4 x D:3.5 ins / H:13 x W:10 x D:9 cms
Gunnar Nylund was born in Paris in 1904. He was a Swedish ceramic designer known for his smooth matte glazes, beautiful muted colours and modernist shapes.
In 1907, his family moved to Copenhagen, moving later to Helsinki, where Nylund attended elementary school. When the Finnish civil war broke out, he moved with his mother (in 1918) to Denmark. Following graduation in 1923 - and completing an architecture internship and studies in ceramics in Helsinki - he started studying architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Charlotteborg, Copenhagen.
While studying architecture, Nylund did part time work at the Bing & Grondahl Porcelain factory in Copenhagen, designing new products for a Paris exhibition. In 1925 he accepted their offer of full time employment and abandoned his architecture studies. Working under Jean René Gauguin (son of Paul Gauguin) Nylund created a few thousand unique pieces at Bing & Gröndahl. In 1928, in collaboration with chemist Nathalie Krebs, Nylund started a ceramics workshop which (in 1930) became Saxbo Stoneware.
Nylon became artistic director (1931-1955) at Rörstrand - Sweden?s oldest and most famous porcelain manufacturers. Working from their lesser known factory in Lidköping, Nylund successfully developed a technique to produce innovative matte glazed stoneware.
From 1955, he was artistic director for Strömbergshyttans glassworks in Hovmantorp, and later freelanced for the company. In the early 1960s, Nylund returned to Copenhagen and started producing stoneware for Nymölle Keramiska Fabrik in Lyngby. After a change of ownership at Rörstrand in the mid-1960s, he returned as a freelancer, producing a more industrial class type of stoneware.
Gunnar Nylund died in 1997, aged 93.