Maija Grotell Orb Vase Ceramic, Gunmetal glaze Signed under glaze Excellent condition
Maija Grotell (1899 - 1973) was an American studio potter and teacher. Born in Finland, Grotell studied painting, sculpture and design in Helsinki. She emigrated to the United States in 1927 and would ultimately head the ceramics department at the Cranbrook Academy of Art from 1938 - 1966.
While at Cranbrook, she worked closely with both Eliel and Eero Saarinen. At the request of Eero Saarinen, she developed the glaze that was used on the ceramic exterior walls at the General Motors Technical Center, considered one of the architect’s most important works.
Grotell was considered to be an innovative and gifted teacher, and was known for her experiments in glaze technology. In her own vessel-based work, Grotell used brushed-on colored slips and glazes and would win 25 major awards during her lifetime. Amongst her students she counted Richard Devore, John Glick, Susanne Stephenson and Takaezu Toshiko.
In 1946 after an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago a critic noted that Grotell’s work possesses a “massive, monumental quality”. Despite the small size of the piece offered here, it is obvious this quote still holds true.