Hi Gloria! Thank you for inviting us over, it’s always a dream to take a peek into an artist’s studio. We’re pretty sure your Wobbly Vases are well-known by now, but for those who don’t know you: tell us a bit about yourself, about 22_22 Studio and how it all started.
'' I am a German designer and artist, currently based in Amsterdam. After stations in Berlin, Paris and Stockholm I settled here 5 years ago and am running my own brand 22_22STUDIO under which I create and sell my own ceramics, art prints and textiles. Next to that I work as freelance creative director for a fashion and homeware brand in Berlin. ''
Sounds like a well-traveled life. I'm so curious about your work, how did it all start? How has your craft evolved over the years?
'' I’ve always been interested in various fields of design and never imagined I could just settle for one direction. So I was lucky that during my fashion design studies in Berlin and Paris I had the opportunity to learn the basics of both textile and industrial design. Something that continues to come back in my work. However, my list of crafts that I’d still like to explore is ongoing: glassblowing, basket weaving, welding, stone and wood sculpting.
After years in fashion I finally got into making ceramics when I realised that I wanted to create something that followed my passion and that was made with my own hands. Over time this developed into the idea for 22_22STUDIO which now combines my aesthetics (which has always been defined by organic, simple shapes and a neutral colour palette) and passion for crafts.
I really enjoy working with clay because the process is so meditative and it can be very rewarding to eventually hold the finished object in your hands. While working with the material, I loved seeing when a piece co-directed its own shape. This happens sometimes and could be due to the softness of the clay or it’s own weight, for example. I started integrating this momentum in my process.
Quarantine during lockdown marked a new chapter in my work as I finally had more time to experiment again and work on some bigger sculptural pieces and lamps. A direction I definitely want to pursue together with some other new projects. ''
Now about your creative process: what’s the first thing you do when you start to work on something new?
'' I constantly have impulses and ideas for new projects. You could say it’s my Gemini energy, which can sometimes also be very distracting! So I started this list on which I collect and prioritise those thoughts and sometimes end up working them out months later. When I do start, I usually have a clear vision on what I want to create. I make a few sketches and then dive right into it. ''
Favourite song to work to?
'' Moonshine Got Me - Daniel Norgren ''
Biggest design hero or inspiration?
'' My inspiration could really come from anywhere: tribal art, flowers, traditional crafts, vintage graphics, architecture, photography, modern dance, everyday observations and so on. I love the works of Hepworth, Picasso, le Corbusier, Noguchi, Lina Bo Bardi, Calder, Brancusi, the Arp’s. ''
What do you always carry with you? What don't you ever leave your home without?
'' Lipstick, my phone and a pen. ''
Biggest interior obsession? What's an interior detail that has to be just right for you?
'' Sofas! There are so many amazing ones but it’s difficult to find the one that is just right. One with the perfect shape, that suits everyday life, is comfy, still looks good and has a nice fabric. ''
If you belonged to an art movement, or had to start one yourself, which would it be?
'' Biomorphism. ''
Favourite place outside your studio?
'' Nature, if it’s the Vondelpark which serves as my front yard or the beach. I love that Amsterdam is so close to the sea. ''
How does Amsterdam inspire your work? If not Amsterdam, is there any place that inspires your work?
'' Even though Amsterdam is pretty compact and small there’s always something to see. I love to go on small discovery tours by bike. Or just walk around the city, especially the Jordaan. My atelier is located in an old school building, next to a couple of other studios, a club, restaurant and cafe. I couldn’t imagine a nicer and more inspiring setting to work on my ceramics.
Paris is my second home and definitely my current biggest inspiration, the people, the architecture, the history, the museums, the galleries, the stores. ''
Name your top 3 favourite Amsterdam spots.
'' Prinseneiland, Vondelpark and Voorlinden Museum (outside of Amsterdam). But my top 3 Amsterdam Restaurant Spots are Bar Centraal, De school Restaurant, Vuurtoreneiland. ''
Do you have a guiding principle in your life, a motto or inspiring sentence that you live by?
'' I believe that everything happens for a reason. It makes it easier to accept when something doesn’t go as planned and keeps you flexible in unexpected situations. And I try to live by the motto “just do it” , as it’s important to just start somewhere instead of loosing too much energy over doubting upfront. ''
Anything you’d like to add? Feel free to tell us more
Thanks so much for this interview! Since I visited one of your places for the first time a couple of years ago I’ve been a big fan of your concept and aesthetics. I feel honoured to collaborate with you!