Marianne Westman was born in 1928 in Falun and, is a Swedish designer, ceramicist and textile designer. She worked for the Rorstrand factory in 1950 to 1971 and is considered to be one of Sweden's foremost designers of tableware, including the design of series Picnic and Mon Amie. In the sixties she revitalized Swedish art stoneware, with simple shapes, complex glazes and course structures far from the perfect pieces made by Stalhane, Nylund and Friberg in the fifties. Even though she the most successful designer at Rorstrand, she was fired together with all other designers at Rorstrand in 1971. Her career continued with glassworks at Skrufs Glasbruk and with freelance design of porcelain in Germany. Today, she is running a small textile workshop together with her sister Inga-Lill in Falun, the place where she was born
Marianne Westman began at the University Collage of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm focusing on ceramics in 1946 and studied for Edgar Böckman. After graduation, she was hand-picked by Rorstrand for a probationary period which later became a permanent employment. She was employed by Rorstrand between 1950 and 1971 and she was called the "porcelain mom " because of her undisputed status as successful female designer .
During her 21 years in Rorstrand, she designed the modern classic nature-inspired tableware Picnic and blue floral Mon Amie (1952), which is commonly cited as examples of good Scandinavian 1950’s design. In the sixties, she expanded her range into artistic pieces made of stoneware, chamotte and iron. Glazes were thick and complex, with iron flowers and coarse structures. Shapes were simple and the feeling rustic and yet elegant. This was of course a counter reaction to the perfect 1950’s design made by Nylund and Stalhane at Rorstrand, and Friberg and Lindberg at Gustavsberg.
All designers at Rorstrand were fired in 1971, including Marianne Westman even though her designs represented a 45 percent of Rorstrands sales. In 2008, Rorstrand relaunched the popular Mon Amie in cooperation Marianne Westman. The tableware series was then extended with new types of cups and saucers. In recent years, the demand for Marianne Westman's 1950’s porcelain has increased enormously and the prices on the secondary market have soared.
For five years, from 1972 to 1977, she worked at Skrufs Glasbruk (“glassworks”) There, she made the household series Le Chef and cheese tableware Provence.
In 1972 to 1993, she freelanced for Hutschenreuther and Arzbergs porcelain factories in Bavaria, Germany. During that time she made the tableware series Falun and Kristina.
Marianne Westman lives outside of Falun today, and together with her sister Inga-Lill Westman she is running the Westman's Textile Studio in Falun. They started the studio in 1952 where they have shop and arrange guided tours of the studio.
Picture left to right showing examples of Marianne Westman's signatures - the stamp on her fifties tableware series Mon Ami which lacks her initials, the stamp on her mid-sixties series Maya which contains the MW signature and the incised signature on her limited art pottery from the sixities.
Marianne Westman signed her Rörstrand pieces “MW” which is combined either with the Rörstrand logo (for series) or the Rörstrand factory mark (R with three crowns). Many of the tableware pieces are unsigned but contains the name of the series, so you have to know what she designed. Her artistic pottery is signed “MW” and Rörstrands factory mark (R with three crowns). Most of the art pottery from the sixties are limited production and is thereby marked “Studio”.