Ceramics is a fascinating field. To be a craftsman in ceramics takes time, effort and patience and it’s one of those crafts where you must wait quite a long time to see the result. Katia Colt wants to “convey the roots of the Swedish traditional craftsmanship”, and we met up with the maker Katia Colt to find out more about her colourful creations.
My name is Katia Colt. I am a craftsman and have my business in Gustavsberg outside Stockholm. I’m 43 years old and have two children, 18 and 3 years old. I got my interest in crafts from my mother who worked as an offset printer for many years but who later started a small factory that manufactures natural cosmetics. I probably got my eyes on the craft and its importance early on, and the fact that it feels good working with my hands. I feel grateful that I can work with what I like the most.
When I went to high school I decided to find an education in crafts. I found a 2-year program where you had to practice with a potter 3 days a week. I only made it through the first year because I was an incredibly disorganized and restless person. After that, I went on to do craft training at the upper secondary level. When I got my first child, I started a three-year ceramics training at Formakademin in Lidköping and I later went on to study at Konstfack in Stockholm for 3 years.
For the past 10 years, I have had my own studio at Gustavsberg’s old porcelain factory, where I am a member of the Ateljéföreningen G-studion which is Sweden’s largest studio association with about 100 members.
I work in different ways depending on what I want to produce. If I want an exhibition, for example, I use techniques that require more time and mental presence. It’s a kind of recovery or self-therapy. It can feel like some kind of mathematical calculation I’m dealing with through an idiom. That the different directions and shapes of each other must match. Like sudoku. With the difference, that I can’t handle sudoku.
When I work with clay, I have direct contact with my thoughts and feelings which is very nice. My way of working then becomes very intuitive.
With my production of objects of everyday use, I want to convey the roots of the Swedish traditional craftsmanship.
I need to be disciplined and structured and to have a clean studio before I can begin working. This is not an easy task since I’m not like that from the beginning. I have been working hard with myself to be as structured as possible. It may sound boring, but that’s how I get more work done.
My studio is divided into different stations. I have a plaster workspace with plaster turns where I manufacture originals and molds for some of my products. A casting table where I make the objects in clay. Then I have the turntable and work table for office work and other things. Since all this will fit 25 sqm, of course, many areas flow together with each other.
My advice is to let yourself fail a lot. You can also ask someone who’s work you admire, for feedback. It’s always good to hear constructive criticism. Go to art exhibitions, nurture yourself totally in what you do or what interests you.
And don’t forget to have fun!
Nature, politics, religion, history, and ceramics of all kinds.
I will have an exhibition this summer at Skulpturfabriken in Gotland 14 July – 3 August.
Thanks, Katia for the interview and the insights in your creative process. We need to come to visit you at Open studios at G-studion some time.