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Anne-Marie Krogh

Published:

PHOTO BY JOSEFINE AMALIE

I began my creative career as a graphic designer at a design agency. But I began to question my profession when I was tasked with designing an annual report for the tobacco industry — at the time my mom was diagnosed with cancer.

It was a challenging period for me. My husband and I were working full time and raising a small child — and my work was very demanding and stressful. I remember one afternoon arriving at my son’s nursery crying after another late pickup. Soon after that, I got sick with strep throat — but when I was well and had to go back to work, my body wouldn’t move. I called my doctor and after a candid conversation, it was clear that I had been under stress for so long that it had developed into depression.

It was the hardest time — and the greatest gift.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNE-MARIE KROGH

On one of my many evening walks during this time of recovering, I came across a small cellar where a sculptor held pottery courses. I signed up and found the greatest joy and peace at the wheel. I felt at home.

When I couldn’t sleep at night, because my thoughts couldn’t find peace, I visualized throwing at the pottery wheel and would fall asleep.

I began to get better and started working as a freelance graphic designer. It was really lovely getting back to projects, and I worked with wonderful clients who made a positive difference in the world. I decided that I would only work with clients I really resonated with.

After a few years of ceramics classes in the evening and doing graphic design in the home office, I rented my own studio and renovated it completely. Here, I could spend all my evenings and breaks working with ceramics.

When COVID came, I had time to create an online shop. And when life returned to normal again, I was so busy with ceramics that I didn’t have time for graphics.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNE-MARIE KROGH

It has been eight years since I was introduced to ceramics, starting with crafting lidded jars. I’m fascinated by creating something that can be opened to reveal something new. I use various techniques, including throwing and molding, and then the pieces are painted and personalized so that no two are identical. When I work with clay, I can quickly try something out and get a result — and there’s nothing that’s truly right or wrong.

Every bonbonniere is for me a blank canvas. I paint with underglaze, ceramic watercolour and also use scrafitto, depending on my mood. I name each one and the names are often names of people I know or admire. I always look at the bonbonniere as I’m creating it to see if a name comes to mind. You can be certain that if a bonbonniere is called “Nina” or “Stine” or “Linn,” it is a favourite of mine, simply because those are people I know and love.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNE-MARIE KROGH

The gold top of the box is painted on with gold lustre (12% gold). It requires working with a mask in a ventilated room. It is then placed in the kiln where the gold changes from brown to gold — it’s a real wow moment when I open the kiln!

I have an 80-liter top-load kiln in my studio. I dream about a bigger studio and kiln, but studio rents are expensive and not easy to find. Also, my studio is located in the same building we live in, and that is really convenient.

Being creative has always been a part of my life. I was brought up in a family where it seemed everyone was doing some kind of art. It was a natural way of spending time together as a family. I remember my mom and I trying to mimic Picasso’s one-line horse at the kitchen table.

To me, creativity was both a wonderful way to be connected with my family and, also, a personal escape room. A secret, quiet place — perfect for the shy and introverted child I was. My dad had built a studio where I remember experimenting for the first time with oil painting and printing equipment.

Today, I am developing my craft and learning continuously. I like to work with both stoneware and porcelain, due to their distinct characteristics. Porcelain can become almost transparent when thinly thrown.

PHOTO BY JOSEFINE AMALIE

Both of my grandparents worked as porcelain painters at the Royal Copenhagen factory. I remember considering doing something similar when I was in school and was asked to pick my future profession — but was told you had to be good at chemistry, that it paid poorly and was also really physically hard. Not much positive was said about it then. So, I chose to be a graphic designer instead. Today I have merged the two and do all photography, graphic work and marketing myself.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNE-MARIE KROGH

I would describe my style as whimsical and poetic and feminine. I like to evoke feelings of empathy, joy and kindness. The world can never get enough of that.

When I’m not working with clay, I love to sketch and give my ideas time to incubate. Later, I often go back to the sketches to translate some of the themes and images into ceramics. The outcome depends on my mood.

I love flipping through the little notebooks that I have lying all over my studio. They are filled with manifestations, sketches, and thoughts. I love going through them and find that much of what I dreamed of making and achieving in the past has already happened. I never take it for granted. I feel so fortunate to have a job that makes Monday morning my favourite.

At the moment I am preparing for the Christmas season, and it is the busiest time of the year for me as a maker. I am also developing a new shape for a bonbonniere and trying to expand my knowledge of wild clay. So, there’s a lot of experimentation and development.

The porcelain ornaments I make are something that I really shouldn’t be making. They are so time-consuming and difficult to fire in the kiln since they are illustrated and glazed on both sides. They can never be very profitable for me. But I love making them.

I love Christmas. It’s a time filled with nostalgia and traditions, and a time to remember those who are no longer with us. I have always loved gathering with my family to create ornaments, wreaths and homemade decorations — traditions I want to pass on to my boys, who are 10 and 13.

I always work intuitively, and the names of my ornaments reflect my mindset. Often titles are what comes to my mind when I look at them. Affirmation titles such as “I am” and “Trust the universe” are therefore a reflection of my own thoughts and spirituality. They are meant as little affirmation ornaments that can help you to remind yourself of something important in your own life journey.

When I create a ceramic ornament in the shape of a person, I sometimes include details like a child in a woman’s arms, or a person wearing a face mask, reminiscent of the time of the COVID lockdowns. When people buy my ornaments, I enjoy hearing why they choose specific ones, and why they are meaningful to the buyer.

When I express myself creatively, I am fulfilled. In a way, since clay is essentially earth, I lose touch with the earth when I’m not being creative. I hope I can continue doing what I love and coming up with new ideas for the rest of my years, like the potter Lucie Rie.

PHOTO BY JOSEFINE AMALIE

I began my creative career as a graphic designer at a design agency. But I began to question my profession when I was tasked with designing an annual report for the tobacco industry — at the time my mom was diagnosed with cancer.

It was a challenging period for me. My husband and I were working full time and raising a small child — and my work was very demanding and stressful. I remember one afternoon arriving at my son’s nursery crying after another late pickup. Soon after that, I got sick with strep throat — but when I was well and had to go back to work, my body wouldn’t move. I called my doctor and after a candid conversation, it was clear that I had been under stress for so long that it had developed into depression.

It was the hardest time — and the greatest gift.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNE-MARIE KROGH

On one of my many evening walks during this time of recovering, I came across a small cellar where a sculptor held pottery courses. I signed up and found the greatest joy and peace at the wheel. I felt at home.

When I couldn’t sleep at night, because my thoughts couldn’t find peace, I visualized throwing at the pottery wheel and would fall asleep.

I began to get better and started working as a freelance graphic designer. It was really lovely getting back to projects, and I worked with wonderful clients who made a positive difference in the world. I decided that I would only work with clients I really resonated with.

After a few years of ceramics classes in the evening and doing graphic design in the home office, I rented my own studio and renovated it completely. Here, I could spend all my evenings and breaks working with ceramics.

When COVID came, I had time to create an online shop. And when life returned to normal again, I was so busy with ceramics that I didn’t have time for graphics.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNE-MARIE KROGH

It has been eight years since I was introduced to ceramics, starting with crafting lidded jars. I’m fascinated by creating something that can be opened to reveal something new. I use various techniques, including throwing and molding, and then the pieces are painted and personalized so that no two are identical. When I work with clay, I can quickly try something out and get a result — and there’s nothing that’s truly right or wrong.

Every bonbonniere is for me a blank canvas. I paint with underglaze, ceramic watercolour and also use scrafitto, depending on my mood. I name each one and the names are often names of people I know or admire. I always look at the bonbonniere as I’m creating it to see if a name comes to mind. You can be certain that if a bonbonniere is called “Nina” or “Stine” or “Linn,” it is a favourite of mine, simply because those are people I know and love.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNE-MARIE KROGH

The gold top of the box is painted on with gold lustre (12% gold). It requires working with a mask in a ventilated room. It is then placed in the kiln where the gold changes from brown to gold — it’s a real wow moment when I open the kiln!

I have an 80-liter top-load kiln in my studio. I dream about a bigger studio and kiln, but studio rents are expensive and not easy to find. Also, my studio is located in the same building we live in, and that is really convenient.

Being creative has always been a part of my life. I was brought up in a family where it seemed everyone was doing some kind of art. It was a natural way of spending time together as a family. I remember my mom and I trying to mimic Picasso’s one-line horse at the kitchen table.

To me, creativity was both a wonderful way to be connected with my family and, also, a personal escape room. A secret, quiet place — perfect for the shy and introverted child I was. My dad had built a studio where I remember experimenting for the first time with oil painting and printing equipment.

Today, I am developing my craft and learning continuously. I like to work with both stoneware and porcelain, due to their distinct characteristics. Porcelain can become almost transparent when thinly thrown.

PHOTO BY JOSEFINE AMALIE

Both of my grandparents worked as porcelain painters at the Royal Copenhagen factory. I remember considering doing something similar when I was in school and was asked to pick my future profession — but was told you had to be good at chemistry, that it paid poorly and was also really physically hard. Not much positive was said about it then. So, I chose to be a graphic designer instead. Today I have merged the two and do all photography, graphic work and marketing myself.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNE-MARIE KROGH

I would describe my style as whimsical and poetic and feminine. I like to evoke feelings of empathy, joy and kindness. The world can never get enough of that.

When I’m not working with clay, I love to sketch and give my ideas time to incubate. Later, I often go back to the sketches to translate some of the themes and images into ceramics. The outcome depends on my mood.

I love flipping through the little notebooks that I have lying all over my studio. They are filled with manifestations, sketches, and thoughts. I love going through them and find that much of what I dreamed of making and achieving in the past has already happened. I never take it for granted. I feel so fortunate to have a job that makes Monday morning my favourite.

At the moment I am preparing for the Christmas season, and it is the busiest time of the year for me as a maker. I am also developing a new shape for a bonbonniere and trying to expand my knowledge of wild clay. So, there’s a lot of experimentation and development.

The porcelain ornaments I make are something that I really shouldn’t be making. They are so time-consuming and difficult to fire in the kiln since they are illustrated and glazed on both sides. They can never be very profitable for me. But I love making them.

I love Christmas. It’s a time filled with nostalgia and traditions, and a time to remember those who are no longer with us. I have always loved gathering with my family to create ornaments, wreaths and homemade decorations — traditions I want to pass on to my boys, who are 10 and 13.

I always work intuitively, and the names of my ornaments reflect my mindset. Often titles are what comes to my mind when I look at them. Affirmation titles such as “I am” and “Trust the universe” are therefore a reflection of my own thoughts and spirituality. They are meant as little affirmation ornaments that can help you to remind yourself of something important in your own life journey.

When I create a ceramic ornament in the shape of a person, I sometimes include details like a child in a woman’s arms, or a person wearing a face mask, reminiscent of the time of the COVID lockdowns. When people buy my ornaments, I enjoy hearing why they choose specific ones, and why they are meaningful to the buyer.

When I express myself creatively, I am fulfilled. In a way, since clay is essentially earth, I lose touch with the earth when I’m not being creative. I hope I can continue doing what I love and coming up with new ideas for the rest of my years, like the potter Lucie Rie.

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