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Gertrud Vasegaard

As the third generation of the Bornholm potter family Hjorth, it was only natural for Gertrud Vasegaard (1913-2007) to become a student at Kunsthåndværkerskolen (the Danish Design School) in Copenhagen in 1930 – with, among others, Ejler Bille, Sonja Ferlov Mancoba, Richard Mortensen and Christian Poulsen.
 
After a brief period as a trainee with Aksel Salto and Bode Willumsen, among others, she established in 1933 a workshop with her sister Lisbeth Munch-Petersen in Bornholm. The two young ceramicists worked with pottery articles for everyday use in accordance with the family tradition, but also started working with ceramics as an independent discipline.
 
In 1945 Gertrud Vasegaard became employed at Bing & Grøndals Porcelænsfabrik, where she at first worked with stoneware. It was here, and when she in 1959 established a workshop with her daughter, Myre, that she became one of the pioneers of Danish workshop ceramics – one of the ceramicists without whom the variety, richness and quality that characterise Danish ceramics today, would be inconceivable.
 
Gertrud Vasegaard’s ceramic works are a unity of form, materials and decoration. Although the form is simple and monumental, it is a rich and sophisticated simplicity, created through long and patient work. Often she gives the thrown bowl a final, little squeeze that makes it vivid. Clay, glaze and colour are attuned to one another, and the ornaments of the decoration follow and emphasise the form. Gertrud Vasegaard is inspired by nature and to some degree by ceramics of former times and the idiom of foreign cultures.
 
A pot is not to be understood – it is. In the case of Gertrud Vasegaard it can be said to be abstract and meditative. It is a common sign that relates to it self, thereby emanating an air of tranquillity and clarity. She became a member of Martsudstillingen in 1969.
 
Gertrud Vasegaard has participated in exhibitions in museums and galleries all over the world. She is represented in all major collections of ceramics in Europe and the USA.
Gertrud Vasegaard, foto Ole Akhøj