About Niels Refsgaard

In 1957 when I graduated from Kunsthaandværkerskolen i København (the School for Arts and Crafts), it was my plan to live my life as a studio potter. Sure enough I shortly after found myself cleaning truckloads of old firebricks from a demolished porcelain kiln. In a frame of tracks from dumping wagons, I constructed a big kiln with an almost forty feet tall chimney. You really have to be young, strong and courageous to tackle a project like this. Originally the kiln was wood fired, later a big oil burner made my life easier. I had to make everything myself. Saggars for instance. The stoneware body was made in wine barrels, which gave my clay a special smell, and glazes were not yet commercially available. My bible was Bernard Leach´s “A Potters Book”. Already in 1956 I visited his pottery in St.Ives where my good friend Anne Kjærsgaard worked a couple of years.

My life was now what I had pictured to myself, but you never know.

Most of my designs start on the wheel in my workshop in Denmark, and since technical drawings and computer drawings make me insecure, I have often cooperated directly with the factories. In weeks, months and even years I have lived next door to the production. I have worked in Japan several times, more than 1½ year all together. In the Philippines I lived with my family from 1981 to 1986.

Still today I have a good contact with many producers and friends, the computer has made life so much easier. With DANSK DESIGNS, also called DANSK, I have cooperated in nearly fifty years uninterrupted, and we still have new Golden Goose Slide products under development.