Anita Hanch-Hansen

Jun 04, 2018Julia Kahrs

When Anita Hanch-Hansen was a child, she wanted to become a dentist and make new porcelain teeth for her father. Today she works with ceramic objects in porcelain and stoneware, and recycles much of what she makes by breaking the objects and reassembling them.

What kind of work do you create?
I make ceramic objects in porcelain and stoneware.

What is your earliest memory related to art, or to creating something?
My interest in art has always been present. When I was little, I made a studio in the basement where we lived, and experimented with colors on cardboard. I used curtain stairs as an easel.

What did you want to be as a child?
I wanted to become a dentist and make new porcelain teeth for my dad. Ironically, I'm working with porcelain today, but not exactly making teeth.

Did you grow up in a creative environment?
I grew up with old paintings on the walls when my great-great grandmother was an artist and apprenticed with Harriet Backer.

When in life did you first learn about your field of work? What brought you there?
I started an art education after high school, but at some point I had doubts about whether that was what I really wanted, so I dropped out and trained as a general teacher. When I got my diploma I went straight and bought myself a ceramic stove. Since then it was 5 years at KHiO. Nothing ever came of that teaching profession.

What does success mean to you?
Having the opportunity to create art.

What is your relationship with your material?
I have a strong relationship with the material as it corresponds to life and how things change. Leira goes through various processes in the same way that we are constantly in process.

Tell us a little about your workplace!
I work in a workshop in Dilling in Rygge municipality, which is close to nature. The forest, the sea and the beach are in the immediate vicinity.

Which object is your favorite among all that you have made?
I have an ambivalent relationship with what I make. At the start of a process, I am very inspired and think things are developing in the right direction. Then I get a "breakdown" which makes it hard to continue working. Gradually I get through the difficult time, and get a new look at the object. Then life is good. A little while passes, and then I don't think anything about the object anymore. This is often when they are recycled by being crushed and/or reassembled with new clay, new materials and new glazes. This repeats itself.

What is most challenging about being your own boss?
There are so many tasks that I cannot easily delegate to others. Photographing, writing texts, accounts, applications etc. I want to do everything myself and then it can quickly become a bit much.

Do you have any tricks or techniques that never fail if you need inspiration or to break out of routines?
Going out! Preferably a walk on the beach.

What is your relationship with Norway Designs?
Norway Designs focuses on promoting Norwegian handicrafts and design, which I think is very good.

What expectations do you have for Norway Designs NÅ Vol. 5?
I hope the exhibition will be well received.

Tell us a little about the items you are exhibiting in this year's exhibition.
"Changes" is a series of ceramic works where I have used driftwood found on the beach at Fuglevik in the municipality where I live. The objects are added with organic traces and are modeled into open and closed forms that can be associated with vases, before they are glazed and fired at a high temperature.

Which identity do material and technique help to express?
The objects are modeled in clay, which I combine with natural materials found in the local environment. They gain a sense of belonging to the area and they develop their own relational identity on the basis of the supplied materials. Both together in a series and as a single work.

Is there one or more identities that are reflected through your work?
I would say it is both.

You can read more about the project Norway Designs NOW here .

Read more about Changes.

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Jun 04, 2018