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Ewald Dahlskog The Swedish Functionalist Glass and Ceramic Designer

Ewald Dahlskog (1894-1950) was a Swedish designer who has become known for his ceramic, glass work, pottery designs and his work in public buildings. His work is often minimalist and inspired by natural forms, which can be seen in his use of simple curves and muted colors. Dahlskog’s pieces are both beautiful and functional, and have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world.

Ewald Dahlskog Globose Vase for Bo Fajans
Ewald Dahlskog Globose Vase for Bo Fajans – A globose vase designed by Ewald Dahlskog at Bo Fajans in Gefle in the early 1930s. The vase have a very special experimental glaze.

Ewald Dahlskog’s studied at Konstfack (University of Arts, Crafts and Designwork) from 1908 to 1912 and from 1913 to 1917 at the Royal Art Academy in Stockholm. His work is deeply rooted in Swedish design traditions, which he combines with a modern sensibility. His pieces are both elegant and functional, and often incorporate natural forms into their design. Dahlskog’s use of simple curves and muted colors give his work a calming, tranquil feeling. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, and he is considered one of Sweden’s leading ceramicists.

Ewald Dahlskog at the Kosta Boda factory

Ewald Dahlskog worked at Swedish glassworks Orrefors Kosta Boda from 1926 to 1929, where he was an artistic assistant, during which time he radically transformed the production of art glass, using cut decoration in a new vigorous modern aesthetic. Whilst at Kosta he had joint exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city.

Ewald Dahlskog bowl Kosta Boda at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ewald Dahlskog bowl Kosta Boda at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

He has designed many of the glassware pieces that are produced by the factory, and his work often reflects nature in its designs. His pieces often incorporate elements such as leaves and vines, and he strives to create shapes that are both organic and elegant.

Ewald Dahlskog etched glass vase
Ewald Dahlskog etched glass vase

Ewald Dahlskog at the Bo Fajans factory

After leaving Kosta, Dahlskog moved on to work at the Bo Fajans factory (Boberg Fajansfabrik AB in Gävle) in 1929. He remained at Bo Fajans for 21 years until his death in 1950. At Bo Fajans he continued to innovate creating high-quality ceramics in geometric designs inspired by nature. His work at Bo Fajans is considered to be some of his best, and his pieces are highly sought after by collectors. Dahlskog’s designs are often inspired by nature, and he strives to create shapes that are both organic and elegant.

At the 1930 Stockholm Exhibition, his designs were described as ‘functionalist’. The vases displayed showed highly ribbed surfaces reminiscent of electrcial transformers. The Scandinavian design philosophy was internationally recognized at the Exhibition. They were shown in London in 1931 and had a great influence on British designer Keith Murray (Keith Murray Designs for Life).

Ewald Dahlskog Kulvas vases
Ewald Dahlskog Kulvas vases. Sold for $4,250 (£3,310) at Wright Auctioneers, Chicago November 2016.

As well as being a versatile designer Dahlskog is famed for his artistically designed inlays in public buildings, such as the 1924-1926 built Stockholm Konserthuset and the silent film palace and later revue theater Chinateatern 1926-1928 directly at Berzelii Park in the Norrmalm district was built in the center of the Swedish capital.

His work has won many awards, and his pieces are collected by museums and private individuals all over the world.

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