When it comes to ceramics, few are more accomplished than Alexandra. From a young age, she planned to be an architect and still has folders full of drawings of buildings.
During an art class in her final year of High School, Alexandra stumbled upon a potter’s wheel. Without the help of a teacher she spent her final semester experimenting, learning, starting a relationship with clay that changed the course of her life: “Clay made me angry because it’s so difficult. I really want things to be perfect. But clay has its own life, it’s organic. During the fire process it moves and changes, it remembers how you have treated it. It’s always a fight in some ways, it’s a love/hate relationship. It fits with my personality, to have a challenge like that.”
Working with craftspeople in the summer months accelerated her learning, alongside hours of devoted study: “I wasn’t really hanging out with friends my own age but with older craftspeople. It was hard because I was focussing so much, but there is payback now.”
Alexandra grew up in Skåne, the most southerly region of Sweden – an area renowned for its natural beauty and its concentration of craftspeople. Alexandra returns each Easter for the Konstrudan when studios and workshops are open to the public. Growing up in such picturesque surrounds provoked a desire for contrast, Alexandra does not draw inspiration from nature and finds little stimulation there: “Now I live in the city, it’s like heaven
to me with all the concrete.” Alexandra’s love of architecture filters through her work as man-made forms continue to preoccupy:“Some of my vases are inspired by water towers or concrete buildings in the city, when I see towers I see vases.”
“Now I live in the city, it’s like heaven to me with all the concrete.”
Alexandra graduated from KADK in 2017 and currently has a studio in Gustavsberg in Stockholm, an area synonymous with porcelain production. The corridors of the former factory are now filled with small studios, home to independent ceramicists and designers.
The makers have formed a creative community, dropping in on one another for coffee or advice. An environment which mimics the studios of Skåne where Alexandra spent so much time, but now this is her own generation. While the network is deeply appreciated by the designer, she is very much on her own path and is amused by frequent questions about Asian influence and Scandinavian style:“I don’t look at other ceramicists, I don’t know what they are doing or what is in and out of fashion. For me it’s purely about finding shapes that are interesting and translating these in to clay”.
Alexandra is interested in how the concept of craft has gained mainstream recognition, how its value has risen in recent years. But she is wary of craft as a trend, and will continue treading her own path regardless – direct and to the point, the purity and strength of her work a reflection of her personality.
“I think craft is interesting at the moment, people are becoming more aware of what they should be spending their money on.”