HJÖRDIS OLDSFORS (1920-2014)
Hjördis spent the first few years of her working life as a banker. It was only when she was nearing 30 that she enrolled in the School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg. After completing her studies, she was awarded an apprenticeship painting patterns in the studio at acclaimed Upsala-Ekeby pottery house. After her apprenticeship, she opened her own workshop, ”Brand Form” (Burned Form), in Gothenburg. When Upsala-Ekeby tragically lost artist Anna-Lisa Thomson in 1952, the company needed a new designer, and Hjördis Oldfors returned to UE. This marked the beginning of what she called her “eight good years.” Hjördis quickly rose to acclaim, and her design was were well received by critics and the public alike. Alongside Ingrid Atterberg and Mari Simmulson, she completed a trifecta of strong female designers who would set the aesthetic for Upsala-Ekeby in the 1950's.
Most of Hjördis’s series expressed her intention for strong graphic patterns and natural motifs often in combination with softly-shaped pottery. Patterns and motifs not only had an aesthetic purpose, but also filled a practical function. They effectively concealed joints in the vases created during the molding process.
In the mid-1950's Hjördis designed the now famed Koko's (coconut) series which included a range of coconut shaped vases and bowls with earthenware matte exterior surfaces etched with glazed line work and interiors with a rich goldenrod coloration.