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The Strength of Clay

“Clay is my steady partner, my colleague, a material that I co-operate with as well as the foundation for me as a living creature on this Earth”

- Louise Gaarmaann 

Louise Gaarmann is a Danish ceramicist living and working in a Japanese-inspired house from the early seventies in the middle of the breathtaking national park called Mols Bjerge in Djursland, Denmark.

We asked her what she is made of.

Louise in her studio wearing Ellinor Dress, Dagmar Shirt & Rakel Cashmere Sweater.

About Clay

Clay is part of the soil we walk on. To me working with clay is like a deep and direct interaction with an earthly basic substance. This connection between hand and earth signifies to me a mindful, personal and beautiful strength. 

Clay may be cold, sticky, slippery and physically hard to work up. Clay is my steady partner, my colleague, a material that I co-operate with as well as the foundation for me as a living creature on this earth.

Being a good craftswoman and being able to tell stories through my work, is my way of being in the world and my way of contributing. To dig out a shovelful of clay from the ground and to transform it into a poetic sculpture feels very meaningful to me.

Home sweet home

My house is my happy place and I feel so grounded here. My home and my children are the oxygen mask for all my creativity, they are my basis, my springboard. They are like the good, hot porridge with berries and nuts I eat in the morning with coffee. My energy.

Louise & daughter Vigga wearing Sienna Shirts & Trousers

You freeze, you chop wood, a swarm of mosquitoes comes into the house, a mouse crosses the floor. You sweat, a leaky sledding lets rain drip from the ceiling. The small everyday triumphs in overcoming these challenges make you feel intensely alive – we are humble creatures in the midst of mighty nature.

Living in a wooden house in the middle of nature makes the emergence of something almost divine possible. The weather, directly and indirectly, constantly makes us feel its presence like a playful companion – it underlines our human condition and inspires humanity in both adults and children.

Co-lab between Louise Gaarmann & The Table Project

Creative Friends

I am always curious and concerned about the world I live in. Both my inner world and the one surrounding me. A starting point for creating a series of sculptures can derive from something personal, a state of mind focusing on love, consolation, strength and hope – all of which are hopefully on people's minds generally in a world with wars and other catastrophes.

I love co-operating with people and do so to a large extent, parallel with my individual work. Having professional 'playmates' gives you boosts of energy, and the ping-pong of a continual dialogue makes way for our individual work to go in new rewarding directions. Like a road that splits into two again and again. To me, creating a space for a creative community means making things come alive in an atmosphere of shared knowledge.

Vigga wearing Augusta Tee, Dagmar Shirt & Florence Trousers

Louise & Vigga strolling outside the house.

Vigga wearing Thora Cardigan, Rakel Cashmere Trousers, Iben Corduroy Vest.

Louise wearing Oscar Dress, Mimi Jacket, holding Svala Cashmere Sweater.

© Copyright 2021 Proem Parades

Photography by Petra Kleis