Handmade pots for bonsai trees


" 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."


" 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.