" I achive my expression by working on very soft, rough clay, but also the way I apply the glazes in different layers. I choose techniques depending on what I want to achive and I dont let the tools be my limitation, they should serve as extra fingers."
SIMPLE AND STUBBORN
" I admire from a distance the stubborn pine on the cliff by the sea, or as it is settled down in the acidic bog where no one else dares to stand. Without flowers and any other attributes it expresses the simple man´s striving forward. "
Thor Holvila started making pots for his own trees. After he finished being an apprentice to Paula Lindfors, a Raku technique pioneer in Sweden, he opened up his own studio in 2008. In 2017 Thor was invited to work side by side with japanese potter Hidemi "Shuho" Kataoka In Tokoname and there he received the honorary name Kumatani - Valley Bear.
Passionate about trees and Nordic history, Thor Holvila lives and work between the bustling city of Gothenburg and his cabin in the mountains of Dalarna.
"As both a goldsmith and a judo instructor my father Berndt Thor Holvila has taught me about creativity, passion and patience. Growing up in a dojo with photos of the masters watching over me has had a great impact on my approach to work and life.
" I feel strong kinship with japanese aesthetics. But my roots grow from from nordic nature, art and tradition. But most inspiration of all comes from a tree that is ready, and needs a pot. "
" The tree symbolizes the strive towards the light, it is the ideal, the hero, perfection. The pot symbolizes man, full of faults and imperfection, bonsai lays in the harmony of the combination of both."
1987 -1989 Graduated from Bildlinjen at Schillerska Art School, Gothenburg, Sweden
1990 - 1992 Working as an apprentice to ceramist Paula Lindfors, Sweden
1993 - 2007 Part of the Keramik 22:an ceramist group
2008 Opened up the first atelje/studio in Lövgärdet, Sweden
2008 Exhibition of bonsai pots at Blå Stället gallery - Göteborg, Sweden
2012 Opened the new studio at Utby, Sweden
2012 Opened Holvila Bonsai Pot website and webstore
2013 Became a full time bonsai potter.
2014 Participated at EBA convention in Wraclow, Poland
2014 Participated at Bonsai San Show, France
2015 Participated at Noelanders Trophy , Belgium
2015 Participated at Bonsai Europa, UK
2015 Founding the Triskele group with Tom Benda and Andrew Pearson
2015 Participated at Bonsai San Show, France
2016 Participated at Noelanders Trophy, Belgium
2016 Participated at The 5th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. U.S.A
2016 Participated at Bonsai San Show, France
2017 Participated at Noelanders Trophy, Belgium
2017 Exhibition at Hotel Savoy, New York
2017 Holding workshop at Wigerts Bonsai Nursery, Florida
2017 Arranging Scandinavian Bonsai Retreat 2017, Sweden
2017 Demo at Bonsai Europa, UK
2017 Started to blog about bonsai pottery
2017 Working with Hidemi "Shuuhou" Kataoka - Tokoname, Japan
2017 Received the honorary name Kumatani, start of second generation Thor pots
2018 Participated at Noelanders Trophy, Belgium
2017 Arranging Scandinavian Bonsai Retreat 2018, Sweden
2018 Participated at Bonsai World Convention, France
2019 Arranging workshop with Harry Harrington, Sweden
2013 featured in Parlons Bonsai
2015 featured in Esprit Bonsai #75
2016 featured in Bonsai Focus #139 / #162
2016 article in Bonsai Empire
2016 featured in Bonsai-Shunju #12
2017 featured in Bonsai World #5
2018 featured in Bonsai World #3
2018 article in Bonsai Focus #152 / #175
2018 article in Bonsai Focus #153 / #176
2018 article in Bonsai Focus #154 / #177
The Viking Hall in Älvängen were we gather to enjoy.