blue fluted has been produced by royal copenhagen since 1775 and today, 240 years later, it is one of the world’s most famous and desirable porcelain sets. last week, as part of the #danishdesigntour, i was lucky enough to be given an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the royal copenhagen factory in glostrup and learn all about the fascinating history of this danish heritage brand, as well as trying my hand at painting my very own fluted mega cup – more on that to follow!
blue fluted plain is still produced in the same way as it was in the 1770’s. the fine white porcelain is embellished with a cobalt-blue lacework of fronds, medallions and brackets that requires astonishing artistry entirely painted by hand. the characteristic floral pattern and signature blue have since inspired several contemporary reinterpretations, including fluted mega, designed in 2000 by karen kjældgård-larsen, and elements, designed in 2011 by louise campbell.
as well as the blue fluted anniversary, the world’s most exclusive porcelain pattern is also celebrating its 225th year. the original flora danica dinner service from 1790 comprised no less than 1,802 pieces and is believed to have been commissioned by the danish king for catherine the great of russia. however, the empress died before the pattern was completed, and today flora danica has become a national treasure belonging to and used by the danish royal family, and coveted the world over. a feat of craftsmanship, finesse and equability, the flora danica design is still hand-painted today according to the original botanical panels that give the pattern its name, comprising more than 3,000 drawings of wild flowers and plants!
it was fascinating to see how much precision and detail go into every blue fluted and flora danica piece, and many of the artists at royal copenhagen have been with the company for their entire careers, celebrating 25, 30 – even 40 years with the brand.
it is said to take 1,179 brushstrokes to paint a blue fluted porcelain plate, so you can imagine how we all felt when we found out we would be painting our very own piece… luckily, we were working on a (slightly) easier design – a fluted mega cup – but it certainly didn’t feel very simple to do. as each brushstroke is drawn freehand copying the orginal design, it’s safe to say my cup had a few (very) shaky lines and strangely-shaped petals!!
still, i can’t wait to share my final piece with you when it arrives back from the kiln in a few weeks – watch this space…
i was hosted in copenhagen on the #danishdesigntour by royal copenhagen, fritz hansen and dinesen. all views, experiences & photography are my own.