Tour the Ceramics Studio + Shop of Erika Petersdotter in Stockholm
Do you believe that if you fall on to your right path in life, everything just falls into place for you? Hi everyone, it’s Mel here and this month I’m introducing you to a talented ceramicist here in Sweden and her story of how exactly that happened for her.
I first discovered Erika Petersdotter’s studio-in-shop a couple of months after first arriving in Stockholm. It was December 2016 and we had some good friends visiting from France, with the goal to fill their luggage with Scandinavian Christmas presents for their lucky family back home. Together we wandered the streets of Södermalm, I didn’t really know where to take them as I was only just discovering our new home myself. We took a shortcut towards the main shopping street and just before reaching it, we stumbled upon the sweetest little store full of handmade ceramics. What made this store even more special was that we could see Erika in the back room throwing her bowls.
Our friends made their purchases and as we were about to head out the door, I grabbed a card, as I knew that I’d like to come back to do a feature story. I misplaced the card though, and I couldn’t remember for the life of me where the studio was, until around the same time of year the following year, I went walking in the neighborhood and found it again.
I’m glad that this happened though; because now Erika has brought her potter’s wheel to the front of the store and it’s here that her customers can truly experience the magic of how their purchases are made. It’s these tangible differences that are needed, to give retail an edge, and interestingly something that Tom Dixon touched on when I interviewed him recently. It’s giving people something more than just a browsing experience.
In her early twenties, Erika moved to Stockholm from her hometown of Umeå in Northern Sweden, to be with her partner and now, father of her children. She was looking for work in her new city, not entirely sure what to do, however, one thing that stayed with her since her final years of school was her love of pottery and the feeling that she felt when touching the clay. Erika found her current store, which was then run by a well-known local ceramicist, Mikaela Willers. She became her intern for a year and during that time, learned a lot about not only potting but also about being an entrepreneur.
Mikaela then decided to sell and move to middle Sweden. She had a buyer for the store, however, at the last minute, it fell through. She called Erika to say that it was now time to take the step. That was five years ago. Erika was twenty-five at the time and she is so grateful that her mentor believed in her, despite her young age. She still calls Mikaela, her ‘Mother Potter’ today.
Initially, she shared the space with other artists and sold mostly other people’s work to take the pressure off while she practiced her craft and found her style. She has certainly found it and throws most of her ceramics, leaving the forms simple and clean, letting the clay show and lead the way of the final look. Quite often she will mix lava with white clay and experiment with firing.
Her creations are for every day, it might be a favorite cup or bowl to hold and love. The style is Northern Swedish with a touch of Japanese inspiration.
Watching Erika at the wheel is truly mesmerizing and I wonder if she could ever get stressed doing what she does. She admits that it really is a dream scenario for her. Along with her store, she holds workshops so that others can experience the magic of throwing and showcases a few other ceramicists work in the store.
Listening to Erika’s story affirmed what I have always believed in, which is, when you are on the right path of what you’re meant to be doing, it’s like everything conspires to help you and quite often, a teacher appears. Do you believe that dear readers? Have you ever had someone that made a difference to you by believing in you and showing you the way? Or perhaps right now you’re at a crossroad and you just need to follow your heart and make the right turn.
See you in JULY! -
(Photos, Text: Mel Chesneau)