Ting tager den tid ting skal tage



I have been following Mona Vander on Instagram for some time now. I like her ceramics, but my main fascination has been with her little pencil sketches, which generously offer insight into her process.

The other day I had the opportunity to meet her in her combined shop and studio in Odense. Odense is my old home ground, and even before I got to Mona Vander’s place, I was in a lyrical mood. There is something special about passing Allegade, the street that was mine for many – and significant – years. It was wonderful to see that the space where I had my first little shop in Smedestræde, less than 20m2, is still in use, as it has been every time I have visited Odense, and still for a special purpose. Today, it is home to ‘Pen og Papir’ (Pen and Paper), which, as the name suggests, specializes in quality equipment for anyone who still writes longhand.

Mona Vander’s place is in Vindegade, behind the former cloth mill Brandts Klædefabrik, where I have spent a lot of time. Converted into an art centre, Kunsthallen Brandts Klædefabrik, it was the venue of my first fashion show, in 1987.

Mona trained as a ceramicist at Kunsthåndværkerskolen i Kolding (Kolding School of Arts & Crafts, now Design School Kolding) and later studied visual arts at the Funen Art Academy. Then she had a couple of kids and needed to focus on putting food on the table. Ceramics was not a viable livelihood, and ‘maybe I wasn’t really that interested,’ says Mona. And so, she put her maker’s career on standby.

Now, 20 years later, she is definitely interested. Her children are grown, the need for stability is less urgent, and the options for selling ceramics are better than they have been in a long time.

She has been working full-time in her own studio for a few years now and is finding her form in a brand new workshop. Here I feel at ease, says Mona Vander, and I dream of spending the rest of my working life right here.

‘Generally, I am not very commercial in my approach, even though I definitely find it motivating to see that people like my stuff and buy it with the intention of using it. My main focus is on the process and on continued development. That development is influenced by the time we live in and everything that I and others see, hear and draw inspiration from, but most of all, it is driven by my need for self-expression and for improving my skill.’

‘When I started again, I thought that, like so many others, I would be making objects with a stringent, minimalist and slightly masculine expression. Now, I’m seeing the things I make get rounder and rounder and more and more feminine.’

‘For a long time, I have been focusing on functional ceramics with historical references. Many of the pieces I’m making right now have a certain traditional pottery quality. – But I’m always on the move! Right now, I think perfection is waiting round the corner; if you come back in six months, I’ll tell you the same thing, and then I’ll be striving for a new version of “perfect”.’

Commercial or not – Mona Vander’s ceramics are available from her studio shop in Odense and from her web shop. She is also present at selected crafts markets, just as her unique ceramics find their way into galleries and museum exhibitions.




PÅ DANSK



Jeg har fulgt Mona Vander et stykke tid på Instagram. Jeg synes om hendes keramik, men har navnlig været fascineret af hendes små blyantsskitser, hvor hun beredvilligt deler sin proces.

Forleden fik jeg lejlighed til at møde hende i hendes kombinerede butik og værksted i Odense. Odense er min gamle hjemmebane, og allerede inden jeg nåede frem til Mona Vander, var jeg lyrisk stemt. Der er noget særligt ved at passere Allegade, den gade som var min i mange og vigtige år. Det var fortryllende at se, at mit første lille butikslokale på mindre end 20m2 i Smedestræde stadig er i brug og som alle gange, hvor jeg har besøgt Odense, til noget særligt. Denne gang til Pen og Papir, der som navnet antyder, har specialiseret sig i godt udstyr til de, som stadig skriver i hånden.

Mona Vander holder til i Vindegade bag Brandts Klædefabrik, også der har jeg tilbragt meget tid. Kunsthallen Brandts Klædefabrik var rammen om mit første modeshow i 1987.

Mona er uddannet keramikker på Kunsthåndværkerskolen i Kolding ( nu Kolding Designskole) og studerede siden billedkunst på det Fynske Kunstakademi. Så kom et par børn til, og der skulle smør på brødet. Keramik kunne man ikke leve af, ”og måske var jeg heller ikke så interesseret”, siger Mona, og hun satte derfor kunsthåndværkerkarrieren på standby.

Interesseret, det er hun til gengæld nu 20 år senere. Børnene er blevet store, behovet for stabilitet er blevet mindre, og mulighederne for at afsætte keramik er bedre end længe.

Værkstedet har været i gang på fuld tid et par år nu og er ved at finde sin form i et helt nyindrettet lokale. Her føler jeg mig tilpas siger Mona Vander, og her drømmer jeg om at blive resten af mit arbejdsliv.

”Jeg er som udgangspunkt ikke særlig kommerciel, selvom jeg helt klart motiveres af, at folk kan lide mine ting og køber dem for at bruge dem. Jeg er optaget af processen og optaget af at være i udvikling. Den udvikling er påvirket af samtiden og alt det både jeg og andre ser, hører og inspireres af, men mest af alt båret af mit behov for at udtrykke mig, og for at blive dygtigere.

Da jeg gik i gang igen, troede jeg, at jeg som så mange andre skulle lave ting i et stringent, minimalistisk og lidt maskulint formsprog. Nu erfarer jeg at mine ting bliver rundere og rundere og mere og mere feminine”.

”Jeg har i et stykke tid været optaget af brugskeramik med historiske referencer. Der er lidt jydepotte over meget af det, jeg laver lige nu. – Men jeg er altid på vej! Lige nu tror jeg, at det perfekte lurer lige omkring næste hjørne, hvis du kommer om et halvt år, siger jeg det samme, og så er det en ny udgave af perfekt, jeg søger efter”.

Kommerciel eller ej - Mona Vanders ting kan købes i Odense i hendes værkstedsbutik og på hendes webshop. Ligeledes er hun flittig deltager på diverse kunsthåndværkermarkeder, og hendes unikakeramik finder vej til gallerier og museumsudstillinger, senest har hun i december 2017 deltaget på udstillingen World Cup i galleri Ann Linnemann i København og før det på Bienalen for Kunsthåndværk og Design, ligeledes i København