Würst Form10 February, 2013
Wurtz’s work is finished with its own particular brand of refined irregularity, the oven baking onto each plate and bowl an almost lunar mottling of charcoal blemishes. As if burnished by lava, the deftly spun curvature of each piece appears expertly charred, a medley of carbon dark freckles searing its glassy surface.
Noma’s brilliance and reputation stems from its tenacious faith in its key principles – to seek inspiration in the landscape of Denmark and delve into its ingredients and culture, “hoping to rediscover our past and shape our future”. It’s no mistake that they selected the work of Aage and Kasper Würtz of Würtz Form as the literal base of their business. The glossy dappled surfaces of this family run business’s platters and dishes mirror the love of the arts inherent in Danish culture. Designing crockery for a select few other luxury dining rooms across Denmark, including Geranium and Grønbech & Churchill, it needs no reiteration that Aage Würtz is a master of his art who knows the secrets of his craft like the backs of his clay mottled hands.
For Würtz, it all began in 1973, when he trained as a potter and went on to study at the Aarhus Art Academy while beginning to build his own small ceramic business. It was in 1981 that Würtz Form launched, and today Aage’s son Kaspar visits with the chefs of the country’s most renowned restaurants, working to their briefs to draft the perfect canvases upon which Michelin starred masterpieces can be presented. Once designs are decided, Kaspar returns to the dusty workshop in the small town of Glud in Jutland where he and his father work each project through to completion.
Hunched and focused over the wheel, hands pressed as if in prayer either side of the rim of a dish to be, Aage eases the grainy velvet of the wet clay into shape. Muddled stacks of tools caked in chalky daubs sit beside him, their wiry heads and blunt metallic tips a stark contrast to the fluid sweeps they carve into the clay. Across the workspace, scuffed wooden boards hold fully formed, shell fine pieces, pristine oyster white, ready to be glazed and fired. Wurtz’s work is finished with its own particular brand of refined irregularity, the oven baking onto each plate and bowl an almost lunar mottling of charcoal blemishes. As if burnished by lava, the deftly spun curvature of each piece appears expertly charred, a medley of carbon dark freckles searing its glassy surface.
To think that Wurtz’s creations were once formless mud clods, conjured from matted earth into a refined organic elegance, makes clear why they befit luxury gourmet establishments such as Noma. They distil nature’s essence into purest luxury, without losing the rustic honesty of the raw materials themselves.