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Erich and Ingrid Triller were husband-and-wife ceramists specializing in stoneware who were trained in Germany and established a studio in Sweden, which they operated for thirty-seven years.
Erich was born in Krefeld, Germany, in 1898. Ingrid Abenius was born in Västerfärnebo, Sweden, in 1905. They studied at the Staatliche Keramische Fachschule, in Bunzlau, Germany, from 1929-32, and obtained further training from the prominent Bauhaus ceramist Otto Lindig, in Dornburg an der Saale, Germany, from 1932-34. They married in 1934 and, in the following year, established a small ceramics workshop in the village of Tobo, which is located north of Stockholm, in the province of Uppland. In the same year, they purchased a railroad-car-load of clay from the Swedish town of Höganäs. This was enough to keep them supplied for their rest of their careers.
The Trillers' work was heavily influenced by the Bauhaus approach to ceramics, particularly the emphasis on the control of the objects produced. As well, like many European ceramists of their generation, they were influenced by the forms and glazes of ancient Chinese ceramics. Their quest for excellence was reflected by painstaking attention to the work process, which allowed them to better control the results of glazing and firing. Records were kept on every piece they produced, and every firing was documented in a special book. They wanted the results of their work to be consistent; they were not interested in having "surprises" occur in their kiln. They were remarkably successful in this regard as is evidenced by both the precision of their forms and the consistent exquisiteness and subtlety of the various glazes they employed.
The Trillers' first exhibition was held in 1936 at NK (Nordiska Kampaniet), the famous Stockholm department store. Later, their work was exhibited at the New York World's Fair (1939), the Gävle Museum (Gävle, Sweden, 1943), Hantverket (Stockholm, 1943), the Milan Triennale (1960), and Hantverket (1965). Erich Triller died in 1972, and Ingrid died in 1982. In 1975, a retrospective exhibition of their work, titled "Triller of Tobo: Stoneware 1935-1972, from Erich and Ingrid Triller's Workshop in Tobo," was mounted by the Nationalmuseum (Stockholm) and the Röhsska Museum (Göteborg). At present, the Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Gera, Germany) is planning an exhibition, titled "Heirs to the Bauhaus: Ingrid and Erich Triller," which is scheduled to open in October 2010.
Sources: Dahlbäck Lutteman, Helena. Svensk 1900-talskeramik. Västerås: ICA Bokförlag, 1985. Pp. 93-94.
Stavenow, Åke. "Tre Trillers." Form 3 (1965): 166-68.
Triller i Tobo: stengods 1935-1972 från Erich och Ingrid Trillers verkstad i Tobo. Stockholm: Nationalmuseum; Göteborg: Röhsska Museum, 1975.