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  • Bertil Vallien

    Art Brokerage: Bertil Vallien Swedish Glass Artist: b. 1938. Bertil Vallien was born in 1938, in the small suburb of Sollentuna, to the north of Stockholm. After finishing elementary schooling, Bertil worked for a while as an apprentice in his father's decorating firm; until, one day, a need to express his artistic leaning found an outlet in covering the un-papered walls with drawings; when it was discovered that his figures showed through the wallpaper, he was sacked. Later, however, a schoolteacher, who also ran a business-school, encouraged him to attend for half a year; and then he went on to Borgarskolan polytechnic, where he did a commercial course. At the same time he worked as a window-dresser; and also attended evening classes in Life Drawing at the Konstfack School of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. In 1955, he was accepted by the Ceramics department at Konstfack for a two-year foundation course, which was followed up by two years at the School for advanced Industrial Design (HKS/SAID). At the end of these years he was undecided about his future career, trying to choose between becoming a preacher, a pilot or a potter. An interim year of military service gave him some breathing-space before making a final decision. In 1959 he finally decided to continue at Konstfack. For long periods he practically lived at Konstfack, working day and night. Soon after leaving Konstfack, Vallien heard of a small ceramics company in Los Angeles who were looking for a young Swedish designer to help in the enterprise. He set sail forthwith and joined the HAL Fromholt Ceramics company, which was a small factory, owned by an artist who designed the largely craft-based products. Bertil proceeded to design new models, swiftly becoming an invaluable asset to production. He had his own studio and was able to devote a few days of each week to the factory work and the rest to his own personal work. He continued to be successful, won a prize in the annual 'Young Americans' competition, and was also nominated one of the best young artist-craftsmen of the year (in US); his entry 'Family on Whale' was given first place in the stoneware section. He was, as yet, incognisant of the growing movement in studio-glass and for the moment, there was no thought of glass-designing in his head; his energies were entirely focused on a pursuit of ceramic art. Listings wanted.

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