Åke Holm (1900-1980), potter and artist, known as plain Åke to everyone in Höganäs. A local supernova and one of 20th century Sweden’s leading potters. Höganäs and the surrounding area were essential to his work, but he was also inspired by Jais Nielsen, Christian Berg, Patrick Nordström and Picasso. Modernism and tradition melted together in a reading, dreaming potter, a rascal and fine judge of character. Humour and music were central in Åke’s life.
In his lifetime he was woven into celebrations, legends and tall tales. Åke’s aversion to visitors and selling to stressed tourists became local legend. Sometimes he didn’t even sell to the king of Sweden. The sign with “Closed for the year” was hung on the door and the best items hidden away.
Åke – potter and artist
Åke Holm’s professional career started when he was 14, at Andersson & Johansson, later at Höganäsbolaget. When the factory closed, Åke started his own workshop at Sandflygsgatan 14 in Höganäs, first with his brother, and then on his own for 51 years from 1929. He constructed, threw clay, molded and developed a personal, expressive style with burlesque and biblical themes, often as sculptures but also as pottery and stoneware with traditional glazing.
His first success was “kullatrollen” (trolls from Kullen), popular souvenirs in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. In the 1960s and 70s his art turned more abstract and simplistic, eternal pottery beyond the mundane.
Åke Holm was an important benefactor of Höganäs Museum and a board member from 1936 to his death. Many collect the 275 prints he made for the annual membership of the museum. Åke donated pottery to Höganäs Museum at the end of his life. After his death his wife Annie and others donated a number of additional works.