The Ceramics of Carl-Harry Stålhane

Ceramics by Carl-Harry Stålhane for Rörstrand, 1950’s. Photo: Sothebys

Carl-Harry Stålhane, born on December 15, 1920 in Mariestad, Sweden, was one of the most innovative Swedish ceramic artists of the twentieth century.  His designs and craftsmanship have become so revered that he has been an inspiration for modern designers and has been featured in the Swedish National Museum of Art and Design and New York’s MoMA.

Ceramics by Carl-Harry Stålhane for Rörstrand, 1960’s. Photo: galerie mobler

In 1939 Stålhane started working for Rörstrand, one of the oldest ceramic houses in Europe, and continued through 1973.  He started at Rörstrand as a decorative painter and assistant to the ceramic artist Gunnar Nylund, and eventually created decorative accessories and tableware, including his elegant Blanca Tableware line which won international awards.

Vases by Carl-Harry Stålhane for Rörstrand, 1950s. Photo: Pamono

While working at Rörstrand, he was also an art student at Grünewald’s Art School in Stockholm from 1947 to 1948, and studied sculpture at the Paris Académie Colarossi from 1947 to 1948.

During the 1960’s, he worked on some major works of art which were brilliant combinations of painting and stone.  The largest one was created for Kansas City’s Commerce Tower in 1964.  He also created public works for Volvo in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Blanca 1955 Rörstrand Tableware. Photo: Bukowskis

In 1973 he went on to establish his own ceramic house, Designhuset, in Lidköping and continued working there until he passed away in 1990.  There, he enjoyed the freedom of experimenting with various minerals and clays.  Now, it serves as a school for ceramists.

Carl-Harry Stålhane

He created so many ceramics that many are still available for collectors today, often found in auction houses and costing anywhere from the surprisingly affordable $100 range to $10,000 and up, depending on the pieces.