From volunteer to world star

Eva Stæhr-Nielsen

On the 1st of June 1932, Eva Stæhr-Nielsen (1911-1976) began her long-standing career as highly-regarded and innovative ceramicist at the stoneware company Saxbo.

In the beginning, the employment was only supposed to last for three months.

However, in no time Eva Stæhr-Nielsen made chief designer and worked closely with the owner of Saxbo, glazing artist Nathalie Krebs, until the company closed down in 1968.

From € 5 a day to chief designer

Eva Stæhr-Nielsen's parents had the opinion that Eva should obtain a high school diploma.

She had a different plan and began studying at the newly opened Academy of Arts in Copenhagen, but never graduated.

She started at Saxbo as volunteer and earned around € 5 a day. In the beginning she did odd jobs such as driving coal to the fire and sieve glazings.

But it would not take long before she was central part of drawing the unique and beautiful designs of Saxbo. Usually the designs were made on the drawing board but always in close collaboration with one of the affiliated lathe operators.

In the beginning, Saxbo only had a few employees. But the business gathered speed after an Saxbo exhibition at the National Museum in Stockholm in 1933, where Eva Stæhr-Nielsen displayed two of the most characteristic Saxbo products: Spaltekanden and the round teapot.

One of Denmark's finest ceramicists

Eva Stæhr-Nielsen was a strong woman and a talented artist. Her style was innovative, and the shapes of her design naturally pass time as a tribute to modernity.

She became world-famous for feminine, stout and functional craft – and together with Nathalie Krebs she created Danish design history.

During her career, Eva Stæhr-Nielsen was awarded several international design awards. She was awarded gold medal at The World Fair in Paris in 1937, honorary diploma in 1954 and also was awarded a gold medal at The Milan Triennial in 1957.

She was also awarded prizes in Tokyo and USA and received several donations and marks of honour. Today, her legendary stoneware designs are coveted among collectors all over the world.

Spring Copenhagen works closely with the Stæhr-Nielsen family in order to relaunch some of the unique and timeless design, Eva Stæhr-Nielsen created in the years from 1932 to 1968.