After leaving her law career behind in pursuit of a more connected and meaningful path with a creative outlet, SkandiHus founder Stine Dulong quickly turned her passion for pottery into a highly successful business. Inspired by her love for Scandinavian design, the Danish ceramicist employs natural materials to create minimalist designs that also consider function. All of her pieces embody her belief that quality design should be stylish, affordable and relevant, and we couldn’t agree more. Stine filled us in about her journey to become a ceramicist, what a typical day in the studio looks like and how her designs set her apart.
Stine, how did you first getting introduced to ceramics?
I first got into ceramics when I was still working in the city as a lawyer. I was feeling burnt out and was looking for something creative to help inspire me again. I signed up to lots of different evening classes, from woodworking to life drawing before I discovered pottery. As soon as I took my first class at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute and touched the clay, I completely fell in love.
When did you realise it was something you wanted to pursue full-time?
At first I didn’t think that ceramics was something that I could pursue full-time – I was sceptical about whether I could make a living from it and I didn’t want to lose my love of making by turning it into a business. It wasn’t until I did my first market at Turning Earth, the open access studio where I started SkandiHus, and I sold out in the first 30 minutes that I started taking it seriously as a career option. I later began a ceramics diploma at City Lit, but decided to drop out after a year because SkandiHus was taking off and I was getting too many orders to have enough time to complete them all whilst studying. From there the brand just continued to grow.
How was SkandiHus born?
The SkandiHus brand is inspired by a love for Scandinavian design in which beauty is radiated through light colours, the ample use of natural materials, minimalism and functionality. I started SkandiHus because I realised that this was where I belonged in life, and I wanted to share my love of clay with people around me. ‘Hus’ means house in Danish and it is my belief that our home is the most important place. It is where we connect with friends and family, restore and relax.
How would you define your style and work?
I both throw and hand-build my pieces, using a broad range of techniques to create the final outcome. I also use a wide range of clays and materials, but most of my pieces are made from reclaimed studio clay as I am a firm advocate of minimising waste. So, I would describe my design process as a fluid and organic development.
What does a typical day of yours look like?
There is no real typical day once I get to the studio. I am often designing new work, making pieces for commissions, managing my team, loading and unloading kilns, putting up shelves, meeting with clients – the list goes on! One of my favourite things about my days at the studio is that it is always varied, which keeps it exciting.
Do you have a favourite piece from your wide and varied collection?
That’s very difficult to answer but one of my favourite series at the moment is Sumie.
What trends in ceramics and pottery do you see developing in the next decade?
I think there is a greater appreciation for the handmade and people’s buying habits are changing from a fast fashion approach to more mindful and considered spending, especially with the rising environmental concerns.