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Metamorphosis

August 23, 2018

Blue glazed stoneware vase. Signed. Royal Copenhagen.

Axel Salto (1889 – 1961) is counted among the masters of Danish modernism, renowned for his sculptural ceramics inspired by the power of nature. Salto interpreted motives from the plant world and created pieces with surface structures, characterized by a dynamic energy and dramatic lines — demonstrated in ceramic vases with branches in relief. Salto worked with Sung and Solfatara glaze, named after a dormant volcano in Italy, which still emits jets of steam with sulfurous fumes. The Solfatara glaze was developed at Royal Copenhagen by H. A. L. Madslund and Nils Thorsson in 1936 and favored by Salto because of its magnificent surface effect on irregular shapes and reliefs.

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Fruit-shaped vase. Glazed stoneware. Royal Copenhagen.

Over time he formed his ceramics in three main styles; first the “fluted” style, based on simple, stylized
zigzag-patterns; then the “budding” style, inspired by chestnuts and eucalyptus fruits; and finally the “sprouting”
style, representing the sprouting and growth, we know from nature. Salto is considered one of the most
experimental and avant-garde artists of his time.

Summer vase, 1931. Signed. Royal Copenhagen.

Summer vase, 1931. Signed. Royal Copenhagen.