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The history of Torsås Fajans

Along the wonderful coast line between Kalmar and Karlskrona, you will find many potteries. Just outside the village Torsås, the pottery oven has been glowing in four generations.

In 1888, B.G Johansson started the company. Mr. Johansson had learnt about the fantastic quality of clay in a nearby brickworks. He also went to Stockholm for studies in an art school. When he returned back home, he fell in love with the crofter’s daughter Tilda.  They got married, and the life in the cottage flourished. So did also the tiled stove manufacturing and the pottery. In the nearby fields grazed some horses and cows.

Tilda and Bror Gustav got five children. The youngest, Gunnar Brorsén, was born 1901, and he started to work with his father when he was 14 years old. He rode his bicycle several kilometers along the winding dirt roads to assemble tiled stoves in different houses.

During the thirtieth, tiled stove became unfashionable. The main part of the business was then reconstructions of old stoves. On the other hand, pots came into fashion. During the World War Two, the competition from other countries stopped, and the pottery in Sunelycke outside Torsås was heading a flourishing time with about nine co-workers. At this time, Mr. “Pottery” had sold the forest and the animals, and enlarged the factory. The old carriage horse was exchanged with a motorcycle and a car. Gunnar was happy, because he had always been terribly scared of horses.

Ships, trains and trucks loaded with clay from Skåne arrived to Sunelycke. After a while the clay was ready to be delivered out in different places, but this time the clay had become wonderful pots and ceramics. Now, it was the time for the famous “Ginger bread pot” to see the daylight. The pot originates from a pot in which people carried their food on the way to a feast. The “Ginger bread pot” is still toady a very popular product.

The fiftieth was a time of changes; the plastic became popular, and the employer’s contribution was here. Mr. “Pottery” Gunnar Brorsén was now alone in his huge empty factory; only the memory of all the potters form Denmark that used to work hard in Torsås Fajans kept him company. However, customers continued to come to the pottery. Every summer and Christmas loads of people came to see the old man and to buy his products. 1978 he got a new apprentice; it was me, his granddaughter Gith Palmér, who wanted to learn from granddad Gunnar. We work side-by-side until Gunnar died in January 1981.

Today, Torsås Fajans distribute mainly our own goods to companies, but, still, customers are coming to the pottery in Sunelycke to buy directly and sometimes to see the manufacturing. Many older visitors like to tell a story or a memory about Gunnar Brorsén.

Today I proudly continue my ancestors work and keep the pottery alive. I manufacture utility goods in stoneware, and, of course, the still very popular “Ginger bread pot” with its characteristic white décor.