Scandinavian Stoneware

tokeim_jul 2I’ve long been an fan of Tokheim Stoneware, and recently I had the chance to hear a talk by Lucy Tokheim, who runs the business along with her husband, Gene. After hearing some of Lucy’s stories of the couple’s experiences and influences over the years — including a stint studying at Rauland Academy (Raulandsakademi) in Telemark, Norway — I have an even greater appreciation for these artists and their work.

The Tokheims began producing their wheel-thrown pottery in their western-Minnesota studio in 1973. Over the years, their work has become known for its Scandinavian folk art influences: floral designs and color palettes from rosemaling, animal figures from wooden ale bowls and other carved pieces, geometric shapes found in textiles and chip carving, and symbols from the primstav, or ancient calendar stick.

The Tokheims are taking orders on their 2014 God Jul bowl (shown here) until Thanksgiving. Or if you live in the region, you can visit their gallery during their Holiday Open House, Nov. 20–22. The studio is located in rural Lac Qui Parle county, between Dawson and Montevideo, about 2-1/2 hours west of Minneapolis. (Visit their website for hours and directions.) No time for a road trip? You’re in luck: Tokheim Stoneware offers mail order and a small number of products online. You can also find a nice selection of their products at Ingebretsen’s in Minneapolis.