Interview with.....Claydies

We have been receiving some great feedback about our Portrait of a Designer, so we decided to take these portraits a step further and have interviews with all the talented designers we have on BODIE and FOU.
We asked them about their work as designers and their inspiration of course, but also about life balance, what they love, what they dream of, what they want to achieve and how it was when they started their businesses.....quiet, scary, mindblowing....

Three years ago, Elodie and I started our business too and so now, we are now ticking various boxes for sisters, working mothers, business owners, bloggers, etc.....and we thought it would be a lot more interesting to get a more personal insight about our designers.
Since so many of you have fallen for the Grass vases, our first interview is with Claydies and I take the opportunity to thank them personally for being so honest and interesting to read!

bodie and fou: When did you decide you wanted to be a designer?

Claydies: We think that we decided that when we were at the Danish Design school. But somehow it does not fell like it was a rational decision. We became designers from working with ceramics and by doing what we liked to do.

bodie and fou: Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Claydies: In the world around us and in each other. We talk a lot when we develop new ideas. And a new idea must be exactly right for both of us.

bodie and fou: Describe your studio/workplace? Can you show us some pictures?

Claydies: We share our workshop with four other ceramists. We have our own part where we can develop new ideas and where we can shut the door. In this part we have tables where we can work with clay and other materials. We have shelves with our old and unfinished projects and then we have a computer. If we need to throw or glaze we need to go to the other part of the workshop where we also have our kilns. This is a perfect way for us to work.

bodie and fou: Which aspect of your work gives you the most pleasure

Claydies: the right idea and finding out if it still works/makes sense when we give it shape. Giving the idea shape is the most fun. It is wonderful! Repeating the shape or solving technical problems is not as much fun!

bodie and fou: Launching your design studio/company was.....?

Claydies: Quiet! We started out as Claydies in year 2000 just as we finished school. It has been more and more loud ever since.

bodie and fou: Best piece of advice you were given?

Claydies: Do what you like and never care about markets ore consumers. If you really like it yourselves everybody will like it… Eventually.

bodie and fou: When did you get your 'lucky break' ?

Claydies: It is difficult to say. Our first exhibition as Claydies was in 2001 in Galleri Nørby, Copenhagen. (we made “Kitchenwear”). Maybe that was it? Karen made the Blue fluted Mega when we both still were students. It helped us to get attention.

bodie and fou: How often do you end up with a finished product that you don’t want your name attached to?

Not very often. We do not recall any of such products. Most of the time we like our products very much.

bodie and fou: Who is your favourite designer?

Claydies: We like many designes for their different qualities. For instance: Pontus Lindval, Jakob Robertsson, Richard Slee, Marek Secula, Katrine Borup, Ole Jensen and more…..

bodie and fou: What is your favourite piece of design?

Claydies: We like many. For instance: Katrine Borups Neckladle and Ursula munch Petersens cake centerpiece and Peter Rasmussens Figures and Ole Jensens Dustpan and broom and Lisbeth Friis black and white pillows and Cecilie Manz water jug and Pontus Lindvals interior decorations…

bodie and fou: What advice would you give to aspiring designers?

Claydies: Always believe in yourselves. Make the things that you think is the best. Do not let the market decide what you do.

bodie and fou: What would your dream project be?

Claydies: To make tableware the way that we like it for a big company. And to get an exhibition at a big museum somewhere in the world. And to get our own tv-show where we make ceramics.

bodie and fou: How do you achieve a good work/life balance?

Claydies: We almost always work from 9 – 16 every day and do not work weekends. We both need the time with our families to work well. These rules do not apply when we are very busy. In such times we become each others families.

bodie and fou: Your most precious belongings at home?

Claydies: Things made by family or friends.

bodie and fou: How would you describe your style at home?

Claydies: We both have what we would call a personal style. Tine has never bought new furniture. Karen has bought some but we both have many things that were given to us or that we inherited.

bodie and fou: If your studio wasn't, describe your ultimate dream workspace?

Claydies: We think that we almost have it. What we lack is someone to tidy up and a storage space for things that we want to keep but that are to big.

bodie and fou: Can you cook and what's your signature dish?

Claydies: We love food. Right now we are ambassadors for New Nordic Food. And Nordic food is a real treat. We both like to use the vegetables that are right for the season. Our signature dish in the summer time could be chicken with vegetables (potatoes, carrots and others) with rhubarb chutney and fresh salad. Mmmmm….

bodie and fou: Name something you can't resist...

Claydies: chocolate. We both eat it every day in the workshop!

bodie and fou: What is next on your design journey?

Claydies: Getting more designs into production and having more exhibitions.

bodie and fou: And the mantra that keeps you going.......?

Claydies: A new idea and a new project will always emerge. Even if we sometimes feel that we are empty and all ideas are gone. Suddenly a new idea is showing itsef and it is fascinating.



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