Arne Bang



Danish sculptor with great international impact.

 

Arne Bang (1901-1983) said at one point: "my mission is to produce affordable quality  stoneware for everybody"  At the time it was exactly, what he did. The Bang pottery  was cheap and there was much of it. Today the demand for Arne Bang's pottery is great internationally, it is certainly not in line with Arne Bang's expectations and desires. One can not say that Arne Bang Ceramic is cheap today.

The production of Arne Bang ceramics consists of hundreds of models. Although we are based in Denmark and have been interested in ceramics for many years, we have far from seen it all. Arne Bang has produced more than 200,000 items. It's a lot for a small business. In the 1950s, almost all Danish homes had an  Arne Bang piece in their home. An object from Arne Bang was almost mandatory as a gift at birthdays, weddings and other family celebrations . Today Arne Bang items are hard to find.

 

Scandinavian art deco and functionalism


The ceramic is stylistically art deco and functionalism. Arne Bang never said that he was a potter. He was a sculptor and designer, first and foremost, and  he could not use a potter's wheel.  He said that his ceramics was 99 percent craftsmanship and 1 percent talent. This must have pleased his  associated workers,  but it is not the exact truth. Much artistic skill is seen  in his designs, and many unique sculptures and reliefs. Happy and skilled employees were essentiel  for the company, and Arne bang had the ability to  cooperate, and therefore he was able to hold on to the most skilled craftsmen.

Arne Bang was artistically influenced by the internationally known Danish sculptor Utzon-Frank.  Along with many other Scandinavian designers and sculptors from the time  Arne Bang had Utzon-Frank as a teacher at the Danish Art Academy. Utzon-Frank was excellent at  the dissemination of the future and what he saw as the future challenges.  This influence is also  seen in the works of a number of other artists, who also had Utzon-Frank as a teacher.

 

Carl Halier - the ceramic mentor of Arne Bang


Arne Bang attended the Academy of Art in Copenhagen during  two periods in the 1920’s.  He quickly became interested  in  ceramic stoneware, and he and  the ceramist  Carl Hailier founded " Københavns Stentøjs Brænderi ".  He made the sculptural part and Halier did the ceramic and glaze. At the time, Halier was artistic leader at the  stoneware department of Royal Copenhagen, and it was during this time Arne Bang learned the  basic ceramic skills.  

 

In 1928 when Glass artist Jacob Bang (brother of Arne Bang) was hired as artistic director at Holmegaard Glassworks at Næstved South of Copenhagen, Arne Bang was hired  to start a production of stoneware It was very succesful, and during World War II he had 15 turners working with him. It was a time with shortage of materials for production of glass, and the company  survived on the pottery production. From 1939 Arne Bang  rented the pottery studio  at Holmegasrd  Glass Work, and in 1948 he took over the ownership of a stoneware  studio. The signature quickly switched from HG (Holmegaard Glassworks) to his own signature AB.

Duringe  the entire period  Arne Bang designed silver, tin, and glass objects alongside the ceramics production. He has through the years received medals and awards and exhibited at a number of world exhibitions.

 

As a working boy he was at  the World Exhibition in Paris in 1925. He spent much of his time  to find and buy light bulbs for PH-lamps (Poul Henningsen) because the bulbs broke all the time. It was in Paris, he and his brother Jacob became seriously  inspired by current trends.

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