The designer Michael Powolny designed several porcelain series for Augarten

A versatile artist of the 20th century

Michael Powolny was born in 1871 in Judenburg. After completing trade school as a potter, he pursued his studies at ToninInstrie in Znaim before joining the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.

Following his  graduation, he went on to found the “Wiener Keramik Workshop” with Berthold Löffler in 1906. It was a huge success and the attention he gained from selling his products gave him the opportunity to showcase his products internationnaly. His proximity to the “Wiener Secession” largely influenced his work.

From 1923 to 1927, Powolny created a variety of products for Augarten.  Amongst them, his delicate “Daphne” figurine and his shapely “Opus” both of which masterfully and uniquely play with the edges and grooves of porcelain to create striking light effects. “Daphne”, as its name suggests, represents the minor Greek deity of the same name. Powolny’s elegant figurine captures the exact moment when the female nymph prays for help and is transformed into a laurel. Standing tall, and looking pure and fragile in white porcelain, she is subtly getting envelopped with small porcelain leaves as she begins her transformation.

Following the “Neue Sachlichkeit” (new objectivity) style for his “Opus” service Powolny chose to reduce the set’s components to their constructive and functional form thus carefully striking a balance between elegant aesthetic and utilitarian usage.