The Guldagergård Tree

Guldagergård Tree (after Spode)

The Guldagergård Tree (after Spode) 2

The Guldagergård Tree (after Spode) 3

The Guldagergård Tree (after Spode) 4

The Guldagergård Tree (after Spode) 5

The Guldagergård Tree (after Spode) 6

The Guldagergård Tree (after Spode) 7

The Guldagergård Tree (after Spode) 8


With MetteICRCDirector



The garden surrounding the International Ceramic Research Centre Guldgergård, Denmark forms the public park for the town of Skælskør. It contains some rare trees, and is host to a number of ceramic sculptures including artworks by Ulla Viotti, Nina Hole and Robert Harrison.

Guldagergård was originally a fruit farm and the family who cultivated the land there for a number of generations were keen gardeners. They collected seeds and plants on their travels then established a small arboretum in the grounds. The farm was eventually sold to the local council with an agreement that the grounds would become the town’s public park. Today the buildings and site are also home to the International Ceramic Research Centre.

The Tree

In August 2013 a ‘new’ tree was planted in the garden. Blue and white five metres tall, the porcelain form references Guldagergård’s history and its contemporary purpose. Printed on hand made tiles imported from Jingdezhen in China, its material construction acknowledges the exotic nature of the other trees in Guldagergård, as well as the historical source of all ceramic blue and white wares. The tree image itself is drawn from English (especially Spode) printed landscape tablewares, whose designs were developed from nineteenth century prints and travel books. Artists painted the landscape (often already confected by designers like Capability Brown), then engravers reproduced them in a language of fine black dots and lines as images for books and magazines. Engravers in pottery factories in turn remediated these book illustrations into tableware designs. In the final part of the journey, Paul Scott as Cumbrian Blue(s) takes cobalt details out of domestic objects, re-sizing and re-placing them back into the landscape.

Technical Details
The tree was formed from a design created by collaging the minute decorative details of a number of engraved tableware patterns. A series of screen-printed underglaze cobalt blue decals (A3 size) were collaged onto high-fire glazed porcelain tiles sourced from Jingdezhen in China. The printed elements were supplemented by sponged areas and painted detail.

Tiles were installed onto a specially constructed re-inforced concrete form during August 2013.

Conceived in 2006, the work was commissioned by The International Ceramic Research Centre in 2012. Its production involved on-site, remote and collaborative working with a number of assistants. It was completed in summer 2013.

Click here to download a PDF with further information on this project.