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Decorative Arts

If you find yourself in central Copenhagen during 3daysofdesign (or at any other time this summer), I recommend that you stop by Studio Arhoj on the corner of Niels Hemmingsens Gade and Skindergade.

April 2023

 

You should visit, of course, to look at glass and ceramics.
Another reason to visit Studio Arhoj is that it represents a concept that bucks the trend and is successfully turning craft into decorative art and thus a viable business.

Most of the collection is produced in-house, close enough that visitors can watch as glassblowers and potters produce the orders that come in daily from 150 vendors around the world and from the studio’s own web shop and two brick-and-mortar shops.
Quite an achievement in a time when the design industry has generally managed to convince itself that production in Denmark is not a realistic option and thus offers either unique or limited-edition studio ceramics and glassware only or industrial products that are, at best, produced elsewhere in Europe but usually much farther away.

Is Studio Arhoj’s accomplishment the result of careful planning? No, on the contrary, it is the result of passion and playfulness.

Anders Arhoj completed his training as a multimedia designer in 2002 and soon landed a dream job in DR’s (Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s) division for children and young audiences. After just over five years with DR, he wanted to explore new horizons. He moved to Japan, where he divided his time between studying Japanese and working as a graphic designer in a gallery.
His one-year stay in Japan changed him for life. Here, he encountered the Japanese ceramic tradition and met makers who considered in-depth knowledge of craftsmanship and materials a natural necessity. Also, in contrast to the prevalent Danish trend at the time (white, industrial and minimalist), they had an affinity for rustic and unique pieces.

After returning to Denmark, he began to experiment with ceramics. Initially, he relied on help and support from other ceramic makers and artists, such as Louise Gaarmannand Lars Rank, but later, he acquired his own potter’s wheel and kiln. All the while, he was earning a living as a graphic designer. Based on his atypical and playful approach to ceramics, he dared to create pieces in bright, cheerful colours at a time when the growing Danish interest in ceramics still favoured earth tones.

In 2011, the little Ghost that led to Studio Arhoj’s breakthrough was created in collaboration with Louise Gaarmann and produced in potteries in Jutland. Orders begin pouring in from design shops, with Hay as the biggest buyer.
In 2013, he opened his first studio on Islands Brygge in Copenhagen, and since then, his studio has been on a roll.
In 2020, Studio Arhoj moved to a large new studio in Skindergade in central Copenhagen.
In 2023, the firm sprouted Studio Arhoj SEA LAB on Langeliniekaj in Copenhagen’s Østerbro district.

Today, the company has 30 employees.
Anders now spends part of his time on executive tasks, but he still designs the new products and experiments with materials, now with the assistance of his employees, some of whom came to the studio with extensive prior experience, while others were trained on the job at Studio Arhoj.

Skal du rundt i indre København under 3daysofdesign, (eller en anden gang i løbet af sommeren), vil jeg anbefale dig at stikke forbi Studio Arhøj på hjørnet af Niels Hemmingsens Gade og Skindergade.

Det skal du naturligvis for at se på glas og keramik. Du skal også besøge Studio Arhøj, fordi du her kan møde et koncept som går mod strømmen, og samtidig lykkes med at gøre kunsthåndværk til kunstindustri og dermed til forretning.

Størsteparten af kollektionen produceres in-house, så tæt på publikum, at man fra butikken har udsigt til glaspustere og keramikere i fuld sving med at produceres dagens ordrer, som kommer fra 150 internationale forhandlere, fra egen webshop og fra de egne to butikker.
Noget af en bedrift i en tid hvor designbranchen er lykkes med at overbevise sig selv om, at man ikke kan producere i Danmark, hvorfor vi enten kan vælge studiokeramik og glas som er unika eller fremstillet i meget små serier, eller industrifremstillede produkter som i heldigste fald er produceret i anden steds i Europa, men oftere meget længere væk.

Er Arhøj´s succes resultatet af en forkromet plan? Nej tværtimod, den er resultatet af at være passioneret og legende.

Anders Arhøj blev uddannet multimediedesigner i 2002 og fik umiddelbart en drømmeansættelse i Danmarks Radios børne og ungdomsafdeling. Her var han i gode fem år og trængte derefter til luftforandring. Han flyttede til Japan og delte sin tid mellem at læse japansk og at arbejde i et galleri som grafisk designer.
Turen, som varede et år, forandrede ham for altid. Han mødte den japanske keramiske tradition, og mødte mennesker for hvem, det er den største selvfølgelighed at vide besked om håndværk og materialer.
I modsætning til den stil som var fremherskende i Danmark på den tid (hvidt, industrielt og strømlinet), holdt Japanerne uændret af det rustikke og unikke.

Herefter gik det slag i slag, hjemme igen gik han i gang med at eksperimentere, i første omgang hjulpet af keramikere som Louise Gaarmann og Lars Rank, siden på egen drejeskive og med egen ovn. Alt mens han forsørgede sig som grafisk designer, og i øvrigt, med en legende tilgang til keramikken tillod sig at udkomme i glade farver, på et tidspunkt hvor danskerne måske nok var begyndt at interessere sig for keramik, men hvor jordfarver var god tone.

I 2011 fødtes det lille spøgelse, som var Studio Arhøjs gennembrud. Spøgelset blev til i samarbejde med Louise Gaarmann og produceret på pottemagerværksteder i Jylland. Designbutikkerne stod i kø, Hay stod forrest.

I 2013 åbnede han sit første studio på Islands Brygge.

I 2020 flyttede Studio Arhøj ind i et stort nyt studio i Skindergade i det centrale København.

I 2023 er yderligere et studio kommet til Studio Arhoj SEA LAB på Langeliniekaj på Østerbro.

I dag er der 30 ansatte i virksomheden.

Anders bruger nu en del af sin dag på at være leder, og er samtidig den som tegner nye produkter og eksperimenterer med materialerne, godt hjulpet af ansatte, nogle med lang erfaring, andre oplært på stedet.

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