Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Salute to Salto

Axel Salto for Royal Copenhagen

Axel Salto (1889-1961) is counted among the masters of Danish design. The principles for his work often went against the functionalist egalitarian aesthetics of both his contemporaries and his successors. Salto's decorative ceramics were sculptural, often several feet high, or served no purpose other than to be beautiful. Salto's approach was to "create in accordance with nature, rather than to copy its exterior."

Glazed stoneware

Salto's best known works are grouped into three categories: budding, sprouting, and fluted. The names refer to the form of the pieces, which range from the angular horn shapes to low, rotund vases. Salto's work was unique for its time because of his uninhibited and passionate approach to developing and manipulating new shapes and glazes. This energy went against the prevailing trend which was to create in the spare functional style of Japanese and Chinese ceramics.

Cast stoneware with solfatara glaze

He won a number of awards, including a silver medal for work he did at Bing & Grondahl at the 1925 Paris World Exhibition, the 1937 Paris World Exhibition Grand Prix and the 1951 Milan Triennial Grand Prix.

Oxblood glaze

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