Nora Gulbrandsen

Nora Gulbrandsen (1894-1978)

As one of the 20th century’s most prominent Norwegian designers in porcelaine and china, Nora Gulbrandsen took position as Artistic Director of Norways leading porcelaine producer, Porsgrunds Porselænsfabrik A/S from 1928 to 1946. She renewed and modernized the factory’s production of both models and their decoration, and her style is a blend of Functinalism and Art Deco with a Nordic Touch.

The typical Gulbrandsen decor featurs non-figurative designs in clear colors or stylized flower motifs which later inn her career became freer and more flowing. She also designed textiles, wallpaper, glass and book-bindings. From 1948 to 1957 she ran her own studio of ceramics in Oslo.

Nora Gulbrandsens small scale production of handmade jewelry for the David-Andersen company from the late fifties and early sixties are amongst the very highlights of Norwegian modernist enamel jewellery, forms being simplistic and soft. Gulbrandsen treats the enamel that covers the sterling silver like glace over porcelaine, sometimes with silverthreads inlaid in the enamel.

At first sight the design seems to belong to the category of abstact art. Having Gulbrandsens wide production in other materials in mind one might suggest that the enameled jewelry should rather be seen as an inspiration for the other works of decor. Most obvious is this in patterns of small dots and stylized flowers gently flowing into the enamel.