" I achive my expression by working on very soft, rough clay with my fingers and a few tools. Glazes are often applied in several layers and fired several times. Instead of adding and building I usually remove and extract by carving and sculpturing. The pot is what remains after I have removed all unnecessary material.
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 wich marks Thor second generation pots.
"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.
" Even though my inpiration derives from nordic nature and norse mythology I also feel a strong kinship with japanese aesthetics. But most inspiration of all comes from a tree that is ready, and needs a pot. "
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 upward and forward. "
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.
" I view the pot as a stronghold and a temple for the tree. It also symbolizes man with his imperfections in comparison to natures perfection, symbolized by the tree. Bonsai lays in the harmony in beetween them."
1987 -1989 Graduated from Bildlinjen at Schillerska Art School, Gothenburg, Sweden
1990 - 1994 Working as an apprentice to ceramist Paula Lindfors, Sweden
1993 - 2007 Part of the Keramik 22:an ceramist guild
2008 Opened up first workshop in Lövgärdet, Sweden
2008 First exhibition of bonsai pots at Blå Stället gallery - Göteborg, Sweden
2012 Opened the new workshop and own gallery 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 and Bonsai San Show, France
2015 Participated at Noelanders Trophy Belgium, Bonsai Europa UK and Bonsai San Show France
2015 Founding the Triskele group together with Tom Benda and Andrew Pearson
2016 Participated at Noelanders Trophy Belgium,
2016 Participated at the 5th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. U.S.A
2016 Participated at the Bonsai San Show, France
2017 Participated at Noelanders Trophy, Belgium
2017 Exhibition at Hotel Savoy New York U.S.A
2017 Founding, organizing and arranging Scandinavian Bonsai Retreat #1 , Sweden headlining Harry Harrington
2017 Invited to work with Hidemi "Shuuhou" Kataoka - Tokoname, Japan and received the honorary name Kumatani wich mark the start of the "second generation" Thor pots
2018 Participated at the Trophy, Belgium
2018 Exhibition at the Bonsai World Convention, France
2018 Organizing and arranging Scandinavian Bonsai Retreat #2, Sweden headlining Harry Harrington
2019 Participated at The Trophy, Belgium2
2019 Organizing and arranging Scandinavian Bonsai Retreat #3, Sweden, headlining Walter Pall and Jennifer Price
2020 Participated at The Trophy, Belgium
2020 Organizing and arranging Scandinavian Bonsai Retreat #4, Sweden, headlining Nik Rozman
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
2020 interview Mirai pod
2020 article in Bonsai Focus #166/189
2020 interview Bonsai In Conversation pod
The Viking Hall in Älvängen were we gather to enjoy.