From sculptural art for your shelves to functional designs for your dining table, Mid Century Modern ceramics are an iconic collectible.
Atomic Ranch curates the best of Mid Century Modern Design to share with our readers. Some of the products you’ll see featured in this story may be sponsored.
When it comes to Mid Century Modern ceramics, Bitossi likely jumps right to mind. The Italian ceramic pieces are still produced today and US distributor Kasala is one of the few companies importing to North America.
The Italian ceramics company founded in 1921 in Florence by Guido Bitossi lives on today. Aldo Londi, the first artistic director of Bitossi in the mid century, perfected the line known as Rimini blu. The stencilled geometric patterns with a touch of green glaze, that, paired with the deep blue inspired by the Italian coastal resort Rimini, mimics the effect of light on the sea.
Today, the Rimini blu line remains in production, and the good news is, Seattle based Kasala carries several of Bitossi’s iconic designs. This makes access much more accessible to MCM ceramics appreciators in the US. We rounded several up to help you start or round out your MCM ceramic collection.
An iconic piece in the iconic Rimini Blu collection, the Bitossi 9-inch sun will elevate any room with its playfulness and vibrancy.
The 15.5-inch Rimini Blu horse is a noble and outstanding sculptural presence with beautiful details and color.
Perfect for a tabletop or credenza, the Bitossi Rimini Blu 14-inch Proud Bird floats above the fray and can add height to your existing collection or stand apart in frozen flight.
Of course, Bitossi made more than the Rimini Blu line.
Rose and Erni Cabat
Rose and Erni Cabat were a husband-wife ceramicist duo in mid century America who applied unique glazes to their vessels, such as this one, known as “Feelies,” which resemble onion and fig shapes. This Feelie in Apple Green Glaze is an example of the duo’s masterfully unique pieces.
Gertrud and Otto Natzler
Gertrud and Otto Natzler were another ceramicist couple. Gertrud threw the pieces on the potter’s wheel, and Otto glazed them. They emigrated from Austria and continued to pair their talents in ceramics from California. This tea service dates to about 1940 and are glazed in a matte gray-blue.
Finnish mid century ceramicist Taisto Kaasinen designed this ceramic beetle for Arabia.
Austrian-born Lucie Rie applied Modernism to ceramics and shaped the field. She emigrated to England during WWII and continued her art there. Her chalice vase demonstrates her award-winning blend of classic technique married with Modernist sensibilities.
Stig Lindberg, a multi-talented Swedish mid century artist, designed this conical black and white vase.
Wilhelm Kåge, another Swedish designer, is most famous for his work as an artistic director at Gustavsberg porcelain factory. This green glazed set features a silver overlay for vibrant color and dimension.
Another Gustavsberg designer Berndt Friberg applied his brilliance for glazes to this ceramic table lamp base.
Swedish designer Lisa Larson made delightful ceramic animals for her Small Zoo collection, including this 1955 Fantastic Fox.
Lesser Known Ceramic Finds
Everything about this funky star ashtray in mint green exudes retro charm!
To learn more about the history of Bitossi, read Identifying + Collecting Italian Ceramics. And of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for more Atomic Ranch articles and ideas!