Danish Dinnerware Designers: Merging Elegance and Functionality

top view of a family praying before christmas dinner
Photo by Nicole Michalou on Pexels.com


Denmark has long been renowned for its exceptional design aesthetic, blending simplicity, functionality, and timeless elegance. When it comes to dinnerware, Danish designers have carved a niche for themselves, creating pieces that seamlessly integrate into daily life while exuding a sense of refined beauty. From classic porcelain to modern stoneware, Danish dinnerware designers have mastered the art of striking the perfect balance between form and function.

In this blog article, we delve into the world of Danish dinnerware designers, exploring their innovative creations, meticulous craftsmanship, and the cultural influences that shape their designs. Join us on a journey through the Danish design legacy, where aesthetics meet functionality, and everyday dining experiences are elevated to new heights.

1. Fanny Garde

Fanny Garde (1855–1928) was a Danish porcelain painter who worked for the Bing & Grøndahl porcelain factory from 1886. She began by decorating the company’s Heron dinnerware set (Hejrestellet), which proved to be an award-winning success in underglaze painting. She went on to contribute many of her own designs, especially vases decorated with flowers or fruits, sometimes also working with crackle-glazed porcelain. She is remembered in particular for decorating Bing & Grøndahl’s Seagull set (Mågestellet), featuring a white bird in a blue sky

Born on 20 February 1855 in Norre Løgum parish in Tønder Municipality in the south of Jutland, Fanny Susanne Garde was the daughter of the parish priest Peter Christian Garde (1816–1906) and Augusta Charlotte Margrethe Lawætz (1826–1906). In 1876 she arrived in Copenhagen where she attended the recently established Arts and Crafts School for Women headed by Charlotte Klein. After her studies, she remained at the school until 1884 as a teacher. While there she met Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone, establishing a close personal relationship with her and traveling with her on trips to Italy, France, England and Germany.

2. Karl Gustav Hansen

Karl Gustav Hansen (1914–2002) was a Danish master silversmith and designer. He is considered a pioneer of Scandinavian silversmith design, and was active during the Scandinavian modern-period.

Karl Gustav Hansen was born 10 December 1914 in Kolding, Southern Denmark, Denmark. His father Hans Hansen (1884–1940) was a silversmith, specializing in holloware design, and later jewelry and had a silversmithy in the town of Kolding.

3. Henning Koppel

Henning Koppel (8 May 1918 – 27 June 1981) was a Danish artist and designer. He is most known for his work for Georg Jensen in the years after World War II. He also designed porcelain (Bing & Grøndahl), glass (Holmegaard) and lamps (Louis Poulsen & Co).

Koppel was born on 8 May 1918 in Copenhagen, the son of editor and later editor-in-chief of Politiken Valdemar Koppel (1867–1949) and translator Elise Jørgensen (1880–1974). He graduated from Øregårds Gymnasium in 1934 and then studied under professor Einar Utzon-Frank at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’s School of Sculpture in 1936–37 and at Académie Ranson in Paris in 1938.

4. Grethe Meyer

Grethe Meyer (8 April 1918 – 25 June 2008) was a Danish architect and designer. She had her own design studio from 1960 where she designed product for the home, including cutlery. Her dinnerware designs for Royal Copenhagen had a simple, timeless look. Grethe inspired many female architects and designers, pushing open the door to gender equality in the design industry. Most productive in the late 1940s-70s, she focused not only on her pieces but on the consumers, noting that she wanted to produce high quality items that people could afford. Her work is exhibited internationally.

Born on 8 April 1918 in Svendborg, she was the daughter of Peter Christian Meyer, a director, and Meta Kirstine Kjældgaard, a pianist. After matriculating from high school, she studied architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where she was the only female graduate in the class of 1947.

While still at the Academy, she started to work on Bykkebogen, a manual on evolving architectural styles and decor widely used for teaching purposes (1948–70). She then worked as a researcher at the Statens Byggeforskningsinstitut (Danish Institute for Building Research) in Copenhagen from 1955-1960 before establishing her own firm in 1960.

5. Harald Christian Nielsen

Harald Nielsen (20 July 1892 – 22 December 1977) was a Danish designer of silver for Georg Jensen. The younger brother of Georg Jensen’s third wife, he joined the company at 17 as a chaser’s apprentice but later became one of the company’s leading designers in the 1920s and 1930s and Jensen’s closest colleague. One of his most well-known designs being the pyramid flatware pattern. In the early 1950s he headed the company’s apprentice school and in 1958 became its artistic director.

Nielsen was born in Bårse, Vordingborg Municipality, the youngest child of parish priest Søren Nielsen and Lydia Kold. His father died when he was just one year old and his mother then moved the family to Copenhagen. He had aspirations to become a painter but the family’s difficult economic situation did not allow it. His eldest sister, Johanne, married Georg Jensen in 1907. In 1909, Nielsen began an apprenticeship as a chaser in his brother-in-law’s silver workshop. The company paid for his drawing lessons with Carl V. Meyer.



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