Handmade pots for bonsai trees


" I achive my expression by working on very soft, rough clay, but also by applying the glazes in layers upon layers. A pot usually take shape in my mind at first and then I choose technique and tools that helps me reach what I want to achive. In that sense I reason more like an artist then the craftsman I am."


" 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 his own atelje/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, The 5th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. U.S.A and 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 2017, Sweden with 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 and Bonsai World Convention, France

2018 Organizing and arranging Scandinavian Bonsai Retreat 2018, Sweden

2019 Participated at the Trophy Belgium2

2019 Organizing and arranging Scandinavian Bonsai Retreat 2019 Sweden, with Walter Pall and Jennifer Price

2020 Participated at the Trophy Belgium


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

The Viking Hall in Älvängen were we gather to enjoy.