Bode Willumsen was son of the painter and ceramist J. F. Willumsen and his first wife Juliette Meyer. He was originally trained as a smith and was afterwards taught drawing at Bing & Grondahl and Royal Copenhagen.
His primary work was done in ceramics. In the 1930's he established his own workshop. During the war the lack of materials meant that he had to close the workshop and seek employment at Royal Copenhagen.
The last part of his working life Willumsen worked with the enamelling of copper.