I am usually pretty picky when it comes to ceramic animal figurines, but if I had the means
I would love to collect the entire production of Swedish ceramic artist Lisa Larson.
All these creatures would make very happy companions to my (or any) home...
Lisa Larson was born in 1931 in Härlunda in southern Sweden. In the early 1950s
she studied at the College of Crafts and Design in Gothenburg, and in 1953 was hired
by the established porcelain manufacture Gustavsberg. There, she had the great opportunity
to work under the famous Swedish ceramic artist Stig Lindberg, who discovered and nourished
her unique talent. During her 27 years at Gustavsberg Larson created hundreds of different designs.
The very first collection of Lisa’s figures to be put into production in 1955 was Lilla Zoo.
While Larson designed various ceramic wares, she became famous thanks to her wonderful
animal figurines. Her creatures, both domestic and exotic, were immensely popular with the public,
and during the 1960s and 70s she was an important PR personality for Gustavsberg.
Zebra from Stora Zoo, 1958
A cow, a donkey and a bulldog expanded the Stora Zoo collection in 1960
Tiger from the 1959 Afrika Series
Rhino from the 1966 Maanageri series
Camel from the 1971 Jura series
Shin-tzu from the 1972 Kennel series
Lisa's animal portaits are always very stylized and while most are playfully caricatured with exaggerated features,
some of her creatures, like the ones in the Skansen series, display a moving vulnerability.
The purpose of the 1978 Skansen series was to celebrate the northern animals
and raise awareness of the need to protect them.
This European Bison is one of a series of animals threatened by extinction produced in 1978
by Gustavsberg for the World Wildlife Fund and the Swedish department store Nordiska Kompaniet.
Penguins from the 1979 Noah's Ark series
In 1981 Larson left Gustavsberg to work freelance as a sculptural artist and designer
for various Swedish companies and the German porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal.
Moses by Gustavsberg Ceramic Studio
In 1992 she founded the Gustavsberg Ceramic Studio with her colleagues Franco Nicolosi and Siv Solin.
Their ceramics are produced on a small scale by a team of master craftsmen and women
who carry on the traditional crafts of mold making, glazing and hand painting.
Lisa Larson is still actively working on creating and producing new ceramic designs,
while her body of work is being discovered and rediscovered by many outside
her native country, and sought after by antique dealers and collectors.