Norwegian modernist jeweler Erling Christoffersen
Norwegian modernist jeweler Erling Christoffersen (1932-2015)
The name of the renowned Norwegian silversmith Erling Christoffersen (1932-2015) is inextricably linked with the Plustinn Norway applied arts centre, which he founded in Fredrikstad in 1958.
However, it took ten years for Erling to open his workshop. While still a student of the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Oslo, he started his jewelry career. Thus, 17 year-old Christoffersen began working as an apprentice, honing his skills in the famous Norwegian company J. Tostrup.
Christoffersen ran the Norway Silver Designs Center (alternatively called Plus) with his wife, Anna Greta Eker. Born in Marieham, Finland, Anna Greta Eker (1928-2002) settled in Norway after she married Erling Christoffersen, founder of Norway Plus. A year later, Tone Vigeland (b. 1938), Odvar Pettersen and other well-known designers joined the group. Plus workshop set trends in jewelry design not only in Norway in the 1960s, but also abroad. Their innovative modernist silverware gained worldwide popularity, and has been highly collectible today.
Inspired by Scandinavian motifs, the Vikings and the saga, Christoffersen handcrafted pendants, brooches, bracelets and rings from silver and pewter.
The markings, along with the traditional ND (Norway Design), “Plus” for Plustinn Studio and “Sterling 925S Norway”, also included the designer’s initials. So, “EC” for Erling Christoffersen, “AGE” for Anna Greta Eker, and “TV” for Tone Vigeland. According to some markings, some pieces were made by two designers, for example, pendant by Tone Vigeland and the collar by Christoffersen.
Noteworthy, Erling Christoffersen did not limit his work to jewelry only, and his workshop united artists and craftsmen of different directions. Among them in particular, silversmiths, ceramists, weavers, glass blowers, carpenters, furniture designers, screen-makers, etc.
Founded in 1958, the Norway Plustinn applied arts centre ceased to exist in the mid-1970s.