ceramics at the Frue Plads market

Ane-Katrine von Bülow, Møntergade 6, Copenhagen


The annual craft market on Frue Plads in Copenhagen provides an amazing opportunity to see a huge range of styles, forms and colours of ceramics of the highest quality. 

To start with the mundane … pottery is simply carefully selected earth that has been formed into a shape that is dried; possibly decorated - with incised, applied or painted decoration - and usually, but not always, covered with a glaze and then fired in a kiln at a greater or lesser temperature, depending on the nature and qualities of the clay and the effect planned, for the finished work to form a resilient and long-lasting piece. 

But then the reality, or at least the reality here is that the ceramics produced are personal and dynamic. For a start, the ceramics reflect the quality of the clay chosen - fine and regular and able to form a thin and precise shape and fired at a high temperature - or heavier or even with an inherent colour ranging from pale grey through to deep brown depending on minerals present in the clay. And texture varies from almost impossibly smooth to almost gritty clay used for robust and organic work and the forms that are possible range from almost impossibly delicate to strong and sculptural and the finish from precise regularity through to an almost-free irregularity. Colour for a glaze or for painted decoration applied to the surface can be anything from a thin wash, reminiscent of a water-colour painting, to a depth of colour that is almost so thick and so deep that it is almost tangible and designs can be anything from fine graphic lines to the boldest and strongest shapes and patterns.

Perhaps it is this almost infinite number of permutations for form, colour and texture that make ceramics so attractive not least because each piece reflects the taste and the interests of the individual ceramicist and works are often the product of a long period of experimentation with the careful development of a technique to create the form or pattern envisioned.


Anne Rolsted, Kagerupvej 22, Regstrup

Charlotte Nielsen, Reerslevvej 20a, Ruds Vedby

Karin Patricia Jensen, Anna Queens Stræde 5, Helsingør

Bente Brosböl Hansen, 1685 Klåverröd, Sweden

Finn Dam Rasmussen, Haredalen 4, Tisvildeleje

Jytte Strøm, Torupvejen 109, Hundested

Helle Vestergaard, Kigkuren 8d, Copenhagen

Nelly Gaskin, Gammeltotv 2a, Skælskør

Birgitte and Hans Börjeson, FulbyGl Skole, Dansbrovej 2, Sorø

Note there were over 130 stalls at the market so the selection here is simply of images that give an impression of the huge range of styles and forms of work shown at the market. Also the event was packed with visitors and there is an amazing crowd dynamic where, as soon as you find some space and an open view of a work, at least six people, thinking you must have spotted something good, step in front of the camera to get a closer view themselves of what must be really interesting … because someone is photographing. And of course it is not the most appropriate time to talk to a maker/designer when they have to focus on those people actually buying … but several names were noted down for visits to studios later in the year.

Names highlighted here in bold green type should give a direct link to the artists own site and details but the web site of Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere has an excellent gazetteer with links and images.