About

bertil vallien & patricia duggan

Bertil Vallien

Bertil Vallien was born in 1938, in the small suburb of Sollentuna, to the north of Stockholm. He and his siblings were raised in a strict, religious atmosphere, grounded in the fervent precepts of the pentecostal movement, to which their parents belonged. But there were also other influences - he came into contact with people of different backgrounds and different sets of values, among them a journalist and an artist.

After finishing elementary schooling, Bertil worked for a while as an apprentice in his father's decorating firm; until, one day, a need to express his artistic leaning found an outlet in covering the un-papered walls with drawings; when it was discovered that his figures showed through the wallpaper, he was sacked! Later, however, a schoolteacher, who also ran a business-school, encouraged him to attend for half a year; and then he went on to Borgarskolan polytechnic, where he did a commercial course. At the same time he worked as a window-dresser; and also attended evening classes in Life Drawing at the Konstfack School of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm.

In 1955, he was accepted by the Ceramics department at Konstfack for a two-year foundation course, which was followed up by two years at the School for advanced Industrial Design (HKS/SAID). At the end of these years he was undecided about his future career, trying to choose between becoming a preacher, a pilot or a potter. An interim year of military service gave him some breathing-space before making a final decision. In 1959 he finally decided to continue at Konstfack. For long periods he practically lived at Konstfack, working day and night.

Bertil delighted in throwing off pots, and the larger the better - finding important expression in the texture of the clay itself. Apart from loving his work he also fell in love with Ulrica Hydman, a student of ceramics, a grade or two below him, whom he eventually married. Soon after leaving Konstfack, Vallien heard of a small ceramics company in Los Angeles who were looking for a young Swedish designer to help in the enterprise. He set sail forthwith and joined the HAL Fromholt Ceramics company, which was a small factory, owned by an artist who designed the largely craft-based products. Bertil proceeded to design new models, swiftly becoming an invaluable asset to production. He had his own studio and was able to devote a few days of each week to the factory work and the rest to his own personal work.

In L.A. Vallien very soon made acquaintance with other artist; and the two Californian universities, where he attended various lectures and debates, were important meeting points, not least for art critics and gallery-owners. He continued to be successful, won a prize in the annual 'Young Americans' competition, and was also nominated one of the best young artist-craftsmen of the year (in US); his entry 'Family on Whale' was given first place in the stoneware section.

His work at that time was a continuation of the expressive, somewhat stylised idiom of former student pieces, although there was a more vigorous articulation of the material, and more monumental form is noticeable.

He was, as yet, incognisant of the growing movement in studio-glass and for the moment, there was no thought of glass-designing in his head; his energies were entirely focused on a pursuit of ceramic art.

Eventually, he received a suggestion from C.H. Åfors back home: that he would come and design at the Åfors glass-factory. This was one of his main reasons for returning to Sweden.

Patricia Duggan

Trish Duggan, from Arlington, Virginia, is an experienced entrepreneur, dedicated philanthropist, and accomplished artist who has committed much of her time to improving the lives of men and women across the planet.

Trish is an alumnus of the University of California of Los Angeles, University of California at Santa Barbara, and a Jesuit University located in Japan.

She was first introduced to art by Mr. Yoshio Nakamura, who served as her art teacher during her high school years. They have remained close, and remarkably still stay in communication more than a half century later. Glass artist, Marlene Rose, has also heavily influenced Trish’s passion and appreciation of art. Marlene exposed Trish to the process of blowing glass. Her love of art has taken Trish around the globe, having visited places across South America, China, India, Europe, India, Nepal, and Japan. Ms. Duggan loves to travel, and greatly enjoys learning how other cultures differ from her own.

Trish Duggan has continually contributed to UCSB over the years. She has helped establish a Chair in the Biochemistry and Chemistry departments and the Tibetan Buddhist Chair of Studies. Additionally, Trish with the help of her mother contributed a remarkable collection of nearly 5,000 Buddhist Sutras for the library at UCSB.

Trish is heavily involved with the Santa Barbara Symphony, having previously served as a member of the Women’s Board of Directors for the symphony. In this capacity, she successfully headed the Symphony Ball initiative.

Furthermore, Ms. Duggan has also held the title of President of the Adoption Support Group located in Santa Barbara. This organization’s core mission was simple, yet vital; to educate and inspire men and women across the nation to adopt children domestically, as well as internationally.

Ms. Duggan is also one of the largest donors to one of the world’s most successful rehabilitation programs to control addiction to harmful drugs and alcohol. This non-profit drug rehabilitation program is geared at lowering substance addiction by using a well-demonstrated, all-natural approach. They have more than one hundred rehabilitation centers and drug prevention-education centers throughout the world and have aided millions of individuals in obtaining their freedom from drug and/or alcohol addiction.

Ms. Duggan also supports human rights and bettering the level of ethics in our society as a whole. She is a generous donor to three major human rights initiatives. Furthermore, Ms. Duggan supports and advocates thewaytohappiness.org, which helps lower crime rates and improves human conditions in communities and in some cases, entire countries. Not ready to abandon or give up on anyone, Trish also donates to the world’s most successful rehabilitation program for those who have found themselves in correctional facilities, helping them successfully enter back into society as ethical and committed members.