online mag  /  print bookazine

INTRO

From bookazine no. 2, which has long been sold out, I have put all the articles from this issue online. You can find the full-text articles here #bookazine2

 March 2020

 But why does the writer have to be friends with all her sources?

This question was raised by a Danish critic in an otherwise very positive review of HÅNDVÆRK bookazine no. 1. And that gave me food for thought.

Must I be friends with all my sources?

Not necessarily. But often, that is how it turns out. The conversations I have in connection with my work are always conversations with people who are passionate, and who are therefore personally invested in what they do. The conversations go beyond what may be the marketing department’s agenda or what can be conveyed in a press release. I too am personally invested in the topic, because it involves both ethics and aesthetics, and because I am passionate about discussing and highlighting the link between craftsmanship, applied art and design.

Such a meeting often gives rise to good relations, respect and sometimes friendships.

Moreover, I thrive on the exchange of ideas and experiences and enjoy connecting people.

Synne Espensen, who is portrayed here, said to me many years ago, ‘You and I both have networking as a hobby’. That is probably true; I love it when people get together, often around my dinner table. Love it when they leave together, enriched and with new possibilities arising out of their meeting.

I have known Synne since she was born. During the 1980s, her parents and I lived in the same building in Odense. We became friends. Later, they and their children moved west, and I moved east, but our friendship endured. When Synne was 15 years old, and needed to do a work-experience traineeship for school, she spent a week in my design firm in Copenhagen. She was spotted by the owner of a modelling agency, and soon she was travelling the world on photo shoots. She was one of my favourite models for fashion campaigns and walked many of my fashion shows. Whenever Synne’s travels took her to Copenhagen she would stay in my guest room, and whenever our paths crossed in Paris or London we would meet. Synne no longer models – today she is a diplomat – but she was kind enough to agree to be photographed with her young daughter, Alice Ellen, in the family’s home in Brussels.

Synne’s mother comes from the Danish island of Ærø. Last summer, when Synne was married, the ceremony took place on Ærø. On my recommendation, Synne and her husband-to-be stayed at Hotel The Monica, which is owned an run by Monica Conradsen. I wrote about Hotel The Monica in spring 2018, when it had only been open a few months. I had heard about the exclusive little boutique hotel from ceramicist Hanne Bertelsen.

I first met Hanne Bertelsen in 1994 and soon began to sell her beautiful ceramic flower pots from my shop in Copenhagen.

Hanne and Monica have also known each other for many years. Hanne designed the tableware for Monica’s hotel, and Monica sells Hanne’s ceramics from the shop attached to the hotel. Incidentally, Monica is also a former model.

Recently, I got a phone call from Monica. I was well into the process of preparing the present ‘textile issue’. Monica spoke enthusiastically about the weaver Dorthe Rejkjær, whom she had begun to work with.

Dorthe weaves bespoke coats and jackets from locally sourced wool. The coats are sold from Monica’s hotel shop.

Would I like to come to Ærø to learn more about this? Absolutely! It sounded like a great project, and I am convinced that the way forward includes reclaiming a relationship to the way in which our clothes are made and from what. The project is a lesson on how we can produce, sell and buy clothes with storytelling and the personal touch as part of the equation.

Apropos of lessons …

Last year I was contacted by Signe Rosenkrands and Trine Clod Præstholm, both students at Aarhus University. They were writing their master’s thesis, titled Håndværk som vidensform (Crafts as Knowledge Form).

They asked whether I might be available for an interview, and I agreed. They also wondered if they might use some of my many photos of craft process as illustrations in their thesis. Of course they could.

When I launched the HÅNDværk bookazine no. 1 in October 2019, Signe and Trine kindly agreed to help out at the event and welcome the guests at the reception. In the meantime, they have both graduated and are on their way into working life.

‘Our thesis really motivated me to teach creative subjects,’ says Signe when I take their photos after the reception.

‘The aim of our thesis was to examine how the encounter with a craft impacts us through the bodily experience, and what the characteristics are of this embodied learning,’ they explain. ‘During the process, I was pleasantly surprised to see the broad theoretical basis we could draw on,’ says Signe, and Trine adds, ‘– and how strong a case we can now actually make for the huge potential of craft practices.’

I look forward to seeing their future contributions.

Long live the power of new encounters!

Will I be able to maintain a critical perspective if I am on friendly terms with my sources?

I have no doubt that I can still determine whether my source has a story worth telling. I am also fairly sure that I can assess the quality of their product. That said, I am also convinced that everything and everybody appear more beautiful, more insightful and more relevant if a relationship is allowed to emerge.

That is how it is, that I how it has always been, and that is how it will always be.

 Men hvorfor skal forfatteren være ven med alle kilderne?

Sådan skrev en dansk anmelder i en i øvrigt meget rosende anmeldelse af HÅNDVÆRK bookazine no 1. Det har jeg spekuleret en del over.

Skal jeg nødvendigvis være ven med alle kilderne?

I princippet ikke. Men det er oftest sådan, det bliver. De samtaler, jeg har i forbindelse med mit arbejde, er altid samtaler med mennesker, som er passionerede og derfor har noget på spil. Det er samtaler, som handler om noget andet end det, som kan planlægges i en marketingafdeling, og som kan formidles i en pressemeddelelse. Jeg selv har også noget på spil. Det har jeg, fordi jeg har både etik og æstetik involveret, og fordi jeg brænder for at formidle koblingen mellem håndværk, kunsthåndværk og design.

I det møde opstår der relationer, respekt og ofte venskaber.

Signe Rosenkrands og Trine Clod Præstholm

Læg dertil at jeg næres af at udveksle tanker og erfaringer, og at jeg har stor glæde ved at forbinde mennesker med hinanden.

Synne Espensen, som er fotograferet her, sagde for mange år siden: ”Du og jeg, vi to har begge networking som hobby.” Sådan er det nok, jeg elsker, når mennesker mødes, gerne omkring mit bord. Elsker, når de går derfra sammen, berigede og med muligheder, som er opstået, fordi de har mødt hinanden.

Synne har jeg kendt, siden hun blev født. I 80’erne boede hendes forældre og jeg i samme ejendom i Odense. Vi blev venner. Siden flyttede de og deres børn mod vest, og jeg flyttede mod øst, men venskabet bestod. Da Synne var 15 år og skulle i skolepraktik, var hun hos mig i min designvirksomhed i København. Hun blev spottet af indehaveren af et modelbureau, og snart rejste hun verden rundt på modeljob. Hun har været en af mine yndlingsmodeller til kampagnefotografering, og hun har gået mange af mine shows. Når Synnes veje krydsede København, overnattede hun på mit gæsteværelse, når jeg var i Paris og London samtidig med hende, sås vi dér. Synne er ikke længere model, nu er hun diplomat, men hun har til min glæde indvilget i at lade sig fotografere sammen med sin lille datter, Alice Ellen, i deres hjem i Bruxelles.

Synnes mor er fra Ærø. Sidste sommer, da Synne skulle giftes, skulle det foregå på Ærø. Synne og hendes gom boede på min anbefaling på Hotel The Monica, som er ejet og drevet af Monica Conradsen. Hotel The Monica skrev jeg om tilbage i foråret 2018, hvor hotellet kun havde haft åbent i få måneder. Jeg havde hørt om det lille eksklusive boutiquehotel fra keramiker Hanne Bertelsen.

Hanne Bertelsen mødte jeg første gang i 1994, hvorefter jeg begyndte at sælge hendes smukke keramiske urtepotter i min butik i København.

Hanne og Monica har også kendt hinanden i mange år. Hanne har lavet service til Monicas hotel, og Monica sælger Hannes keramik i den butik, som er knyttet til hotellet. Monica er i øvrigt lige som Synne tidligere model.

For nylig ringede Monica. Jeg var godt i gang med nærværende ’textile issue’. Monica fortalte med stor entusiasme om væveren Dorthe Rejkjær, som hun har indledt et samarbejde med.

Dorthe væver jakker og frakker efter mål af lokal uld. Frakkerne sælges i Monicas hotelbutik.

Om ikke jeg ville komme til Ærø for at se og høre? Jo, det ville jeg meget gerne. Det ville jeg gerne, fordi det lød skønt, og fordi jeg er sikker på, at vejen frem er, at vi generobrer forholdet til, hvordan vores tøj bliver til og af hvad. Deres projekt er skåret helt ind til benet et lærestykke i at producere, sælge og købe tøj, hvor nærhed og formidling er en del af ligningen.

Apropos lærestykke

Sidste år blev jeg kontaktet af Signe Rosenkrands og Trine Clod Præstholm, som var studerende på Aarhus Universitet. De skulle skrive kandidatspeciale under titlen ’Håndværk som vidensform’.

De ville høre, om jeg ville stille mig til rådighed for et interview. Det ville jeg gerne. De ville også forsigtigt spørge, om de måtte illustrere deres speciale med nogle af mine mange billeder af håndværksprocesser. Selvfølgelig måtte de det.

Da jeg i oktober 2019 lancerede HÅNDVÆRK bookazine no 1, manglede jeg hjælp til at tage imod gæsterne. Hvad var mere oplagt end at spørge Signe og Trine, som beredvilligt sprang til.

De er i mellemtiden blevet færdige og er på vej ud i arbejdslivet.

”Vores speciale har gjort mig virkelig motiveret for at komme til at arbejde som underviser i de kreative fag,” fortæller Signe, da jeg efterfølgende fotograferer dem.

”Formålet med specialet var at undersøge, hvordan vores møde med et håndværk forplanter sig i kroppen, og hvilke kendetegn denne kropslige læring har,” fortæller de samstemmende. ”Jeg blev undervejs glædeligt overrasket over, hvor bred en vifte af teori vi havde mulighed for at trække på,” fortæller Signe, og Trine supplerer – ”og over hvor velbegrundet vi nu faktisk kan argumentere for det kæmpe potentiale, der ligger i at udøve et håndværk”.

Jeg glæder mig til at se, hvor de kommer til at gøre deres indflydelse gældende.

Al magt til mødet mellem mennesker!

Om jeg kan holde armslængde, hvis jeg kommer på venskabelig fod med mine kilder?

Jeg er helt sikker på, at jeg sagtens kan vurdere, om min kilde har en historie, som er af almenhedens interesse. Jeg mener mig også ret sikker på at kunne vurdere dennes produkt.

Det være sagt, så er jeg sikker på, at alt og alle fremstår både smukkere, klogere og mere relevante, hvis man tillader, at der opstår en relation.

Sådan er det, sådan har det altid været, og sådan vil det være i al fremtid.

 

Find alle artiklerne fra bookazine no. 2 her

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