The history of ceramics on Bornholm

Just as wool and yarn are to Iceland, ceramics are to Bornholm. Learn more about the great ceramics adventure on Bornholm, which started in the 1800s and continues to this day.

The ceramics adventure on Bornholm

The ceramics adventure that placed Bornholm firmly on Denmark’s handicrafts map began in the early 1800s. With big names such as Søholm, Hjorth and Michael Andersen, classic Bornholm ceramics have made the island famous not only in Denmark, but all over the world. At the World Fair in Brussels in 1935, a Bornholm ceramics factory won a prestigious gold medal for its glaze.

Clay pits outside the cities

Clay, the raw material of ceramics, was found just outside the town limits and was of very high quality. Today, places like Pyrite Lake, Sapphire Lake and Ruby Lake in the forest at Sorthat and Muleby, as well as Lersøvejen in Rønne Syd are reminiscent of the large clay pits that supplied material to the many potters, faience and terracotta factories and ceramicists.

More than 20 factories and over 150 potters

According to the Rønne City Archives, there have been over 200 independent potters, 24 large and small ceramic factories and around 150 independent ceramic workshops on Bornholm since the early 1800s. It all began with Johannes or Johan Spietz’s stoneware factory in Rønne in the late 1700s. Then came big names like Søholm Keramik (1835–1996), L. Hjorth’s Terracottafabrik (since 1859, today Hjorths Fabrik) and Michael Andersen & Søn (since 1873). Other well-known names include Johannes Pedersen “Johgus”, Sonne & Co, Sommer, J.P. Andersen & Son, Bofa Ceramics (1862–1961) and Hans J. Møllers Lervarefabrik.

Classic ceramics, modern design and a new Bornholmerur Wall Clock

Today, Hjorths Fabrik in Krystalgade is the primary maker of the famous classic Bornholm ceramics, such as mugs, plates, teapots and vases. You can also take part in ceramic throwing classes from time to time.

Modern potters on Bornholm also make ceramic art or create new designs such as the Bornholmerur Wall Clock from Mie Mølgaard Ceramics. Oh Oak produces tableware for Michelin-starred restaurants such as KOKS (Faroe Islands) and RÅ (Copenhagen).

Buy Bornholm ceramics and unique design items

There are many potters on Bornholm keeping the Danish and Bornholm ceramic tradition alive, often with a modern twist.

→ Find Bornholm potters here

Traces of the ceramics adventure on Bornholm

Visit some of the places that still bear witness to the ceramics adventure on Bornholm:


Hjorths Fabrik

Hjorths Fabrik has been producing classic Bornholm ceramics since 1859.


Pyritsøen (Pyrite Lake)

Pyritsøen is one of the larger former clay pits that supplied the Bornholm ceramic factories with clay.


Smaragdsøen (Emerald Lake)

Smaragdsøen is another large former clay pit that supplied ceramic artists and potters with clay.


Safirsøen (Sapphire Lake)

Safirsøen is another large former clay pit that supplied the ceramic factories with raw material.

Read more about ceramics on Bornholm

Bornholm has a long tradition of high-quality ceramics. Visit potters and buy authentic Bornholm ceramic art.

Read more about glass art on the island
Explore local crafts
Meet the leading artisans on the island
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