ceramic art

Dorthe Hansen Ceramicist: A whole life

 A Master ceramic artist harnesses history and nature in pursuit of her craft

Dorthe Hansen is an artist and café owner working in the Bindslev district of northern Denmark.  Having devoted some twenty-five years to her craft as a ceramicist, she is now well known throughout Denmark and is considered something of a Master in the discipline.

The Bindslev / Tversted district is an area of pristine primaeval beauty with many coastal and inland landscapes remaining relatively untouched.  A utopian-like impression builds up of white sandy beaches which seem to stretch for miles, immaculate green paddocks lapping at the shoreline, forests, sand dunes and rocky inlets.  Some parts appear so wild, remote and flawless it seems time has all but come to a halt.

liberal eclectic is passionate about ceramics and of course café culture, so it was something of a surprise to discover such sophisticated and beautiful ceramics being produced by a café owner in northern Denmark.  Thus, Dorthe Hansen authoritatively supplies quality experiences whether ceramic, coffee or food related.

Master craftswomanAlthough Hansen has a successful and established studio and café in Denmark, that success has not changed the approach she takes to either her life or her work.  The passion for her craft means that success and failure are still measured in the minutiae of day-to-day processes.  Self-evidently, becoming a Master craftsperson means solving infinite technical, organisational and operational problems as they appear on the long road to perfection.

Over two decades of assiduously producing high-quality ceramics for both her café and external markets hails as an indicator of an uncompromising attitude and an enquiring creative mind

this perhaps explains why guests continue to return to the cafe to buy beautiful ceramics and enjoy her fantastic cakes and coffee…

Indisputably Hansen’s ceramics are about her; the influences and the cadences of her life.  Bringing up three children, managing the cafe and pursuing her love of ceramics has presented significant challenges, however, while now successful, life’s customary tune is still played out as a daily series of distinct rituals and processes doing what she loves. 

nature inspired ceramicsResiding in the Bindslev area surrounded by sublime and singular beauty, it is not hard to imagine nature as a significant resource from which Hansen draws inspiration.

When contemplating the work as a whole in detail, the imprint from this beautiful part of the world is unmistakable, various locations such as the beach, sea, salt marshes, dune heaths, bogs, deciduous and coniferous forests, river valleys and rocky inlets are captured in the forms and patterns of her work through an imaginative distillation process.

The landscapes and seascapes around Bindslev are subject to the vagaries of seasonal changes, like the inevitability of those changes Hansen’s work demonstrates highly refined and creative solutions on multiple fronts.  She not only filters the individual qualities of the surrounding habitats, but ensures each object is imbued with pristine contemplative and physical beauty; an object to excite the senses, at once tactile and visually captivating, but also objects intricately tailored to the specifics of use.  In short, the extent of aesthetic qualities could only have been produced by a Master maker.

nordic keramikkenCool Nordic colours are one of Hansen’s trademarks, particularly, Dag Grå – Foggy Grey, Dunkel Grå – Twilight Grey, as well as Sea Green, Sea Blue, Midnight Blue, Ice Blue and Elderflower. Researching the unique flora and fauna of the region it is easy to see both the more obvious landscape indicators such as the ocean, sand dunes and trees captured in the forms and colours of the work, but also the less noticeable layers of that landscape such as lichens, mosses, pebbles and grasses.

The four seasons of Bindslev can be detected in both the palettes adopted and the various forms the vessels take.  The pattern of prevailing winds coming in from the ocean sweeping and shaping the waves and sand dunes; the way the diverse flora of the area transitions from summer to autumn and winter to spring.  The pale silvery greys of a winter landscape to the rich tonal greens of spring growth.

While acknowledging that the landscape around Bindslev is primeval, mysterious and ever-changing, these same descriptions are intrinsic to Hansen’s ceramics; whether in series or as one-off objects, all are imbued with the ebb and flow of nature’s rhythms.  It is a marvel to behold the base material worked and reworked into objects equal to both her prodigious talent and the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

So heart-warming!  When planning a visit, ensure you allow time to envelop yourself in the warm expressive atmosphere Hansen has created in this rare and bewitching part of the world.

Choose from a diverse colour range for a full tableware selection

A full tableware selection is available in a range of colours and forms –  including serving platters, jugs and mugs.

Please contact Dorthe if you have a special request: dh.keramik@pc.dk

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