Chamotte Stoneware by Gunnar Nylund

The iconic Chamotte series, affectionately referred to as "hedgehogs", are a classic that never seems to go out of style. Their simple form, tactile surface and playful colours make them sought after by collectors and interior enthusiasts alike.


The first Chamotte series was designed by Gunnar Nylund in 1936 consisting of a range of designs in chamotte stoneware and colourful enamel glazes. The 'hedgehog' vases were added the following year, for the highly successful exhibition "Nyttokonst" ("Applied Art") at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. The critics were far from raving about the rough and clumsy design and spitefully likened them to hedgehogs – a term which is still commonly used, but with far more affection. For Rörstrand, the series were hugely successful and remained in production until the late 1940s. 

Chamotte 'hedgehog' lamp


To this day the process of making the hedgehog chamotte vases remain an unsolved mystery. Some suggest they were hand turned with a thickness of 2-3 cm and then ripped with a nail or special tool to create the torn surface, but the technique has not been able to be replicated. The term chamotte, or fireclay, refers to fired clay which has been crushed and then added to the stoneware to add structure and durability.