Chasing Clay: Denmark Part 2 January 24 2017

About 2.5 hours drive west of Copenhagen, you will find the CLAY Keramikmuseum Danmark. We very nearly cut this gem out of our travel plan, as driving a standard rental car was proving to be a bit of a challenge, but I'm SO glad we made the effort. It was worth every sputter and stall along the way. The museum holds a wonderful collection of Danish porcelain from Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grøndahl, as well as the Flora Danica porcelain series (botanical lovers, this will make you drool).

When we visited, the museum had recently finished a beautiful renovation and opened with an exhibition of Peter Brandes & Thorval Bindesboll ceramics. (See that giant pot outside of the museum? That's a Brandes, and so is the splashy pink pot above, right). Each collection in the museum flows naturally from one section to the next, so you get to see contemporary pieces within sight of pieces that are 200 years older. Here are a few of my favourites:

Can we talk about this vase and this plate? They made me cry. I just stood there in front of them, sniffling away as patrons walked by. Loving on them so hard like only a ceramics geek could do. The cobalt-outlined fronds reaching across the surface of the vase (at left) stole my heart. It was made by Svend Hammershoi in 1899. On the right, "Plate with Kneeling Woman," made by Jo Hahn Locher in 1899 as well, was luminous. The multiple painted layers were so thin that they added enough perspective to make it seem like the woman could start moving at any moment, like an animation held in the porcelain swell.

Gorgeous ochre, yellow and vivid blue tones in the Bindesboll plate (left) and the two Sevres vases (right).

Luscious carved vase (left) made in 1925 by Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone for Bing & Grøndahl. Her work in porcelain was based on detailed sketches of plant and marine life, then deeply carved, pierced, and painted with underglaze.

An entire case of delicious blue & white candelabras, clocks, etc. And finally, on the right, an example of the Flora Danica dinnerware set, first commissioned in the 1790s by the Danish Crown Prince as a gift for Catherine the Great and produced (to this day) by by Royal Copenhagen. Totally decadent.