The chemist Erich (1898 – 1972) and the designer Ingrid (1905 – 1982) Triller were husband-and-wife ceramists specializing in elegant, perfect and clean stoneware inspired by Bauhaus. They were trained in Germany and established a studio in Tobo, Sweden, which they operated for thirty-seven years.
Ingrid Abenius was born in Västerfärnebo, Sweden, in 1905 as the youngest of three siblings. She moved to Germany in the late twenties to study art, crafts and the work of the Bauhaus group. There she met a young chemist and conductor, Erich Triller. He was born in Krefeld, Germany, in 1898. They studied at the Staatliche Keramische Fachschule in Bunzlau, Germany (1929-32). They married in 1934 and established a small ceramics workshop in the village of Tobo, Sweden in the following year.
The division of labor was easy, Ingrid the designer throw the wheel and Erich the chemist managed the glazes and the kilns. The result of the couples stimulating work was elegant, perfect and clean. The Trillers' work was heavily influenced by the Bauhaus approach to ceramics, particularly the emphasis on the control of the objects produced. As many European ceramicists of their generation, they were influenced by the forms and glazes of ancient Chinese ceramics.
They paid very much attention to the work process and details, which allowed them to better control the results of glazing and firing. Records were kept on every piece they produced, and every firing was documented in a special book. They wanted the results of their work to be consistent; they were not interested in having any surprises. They were remarkably successful in this regard as is evidenced by both the precision of their forms and the consistent subtlety of the various glazes they employed.
The Trillers' first exhibition was held in 1936 at NK (Nordiska Kompaniet), a famous department store in Stockholm. This was followed by many museum exhibitions around Sweden Their work was also shown at the New York World's Fair in 1939 and the Milan Triennale in 1960. Gustav Adolf, the Swedish Crown Prince at that time, was an important collector Erich’s and Ingrid’s pieces.
When Erich Triller died in 1972 the studio closed. The Nationalmuseum (Stockholm) and the Röhsska Museum (Göteborg) conducted a brilliant retrospective in 1975 titled "Triller of Tobo: Stoneware 1935-1972, from Erich and Ingrid Triller's Workshop in Tobo,". Ingrid died in 1982.