What is your name and brief background?
My name is Stine Dulong and I am a ceramic designer and maker based in Hackney, East London, specialising in functional, handmade ceramics. I run my own pottery studio, SkandiHus, where I make and sell handmade ceramics and teach classes. The SkandiHus brand is inspired by a love for Scandinavian design in which beauty is radiated through light colours, the ample use of natural materials, minimalism and functionality.
When did you start SkandiHus?
I started SkandiHus in July 2014.
How did it start, and what was your vision?
I worked in the City of London as a business crime lawyer for years, never quite feeling fulfilled or happy. I often felt like I went into work every day to perform a role that was written for someone else. I always wanted to be an artist but somehow ended up following a different path.
Whilst still working as a lawyer, I decided to do various evening courses and one of them was a pottery class. I totally fell in love with the material and never really looked back. I started SkandiHus because I realized that this was where I belonged in life, and I wanted to share my love of clay with people around me.
Why do you think it’s important that people make pottery rather than buying them?
I am a firm advocate of minimising waste and our impact on the world, and I think a product becomes 100 times more special when it’s handmade, instead of mass-produced.
It’s not just about the finished product though. When I am working with the clay, it is almost like a form of meditation for me. I love that I can share my passion for clay with others and I hope that through running classes we both inspire new makers, but also create a happy and safe place for people to come and escape from the pressures and stresses of their busy lives. Seeing students leave classes in the evening with that kind of zen feels absolutely phenomenal, and I’m happy to have created something that gives people a break, restores and heals them.
What’s the hardest part of the classes?
I would have to say the hardest part of the classes is choosing what to make!
How much does a complete class cost?
We offer one-off taster sessions which are £45 each. In our taster sessions, we teach an introduction to the studio, making, and some hand-building techniques.
We also run longer courses which cover a range of making techniques, including hand-building, wheel throwing, and various glaze and decoration techniques. There is also time for students to work on their own. Our six-week long course costs £180 and a twelve-week one are £320.
And if you already have experience working with clay, and would like to practice your existing skills, we also offer drop-in sessions for £30.
How can people book a pottery class?
Our class bookings are done through our website: https://www.skandihus.co.uk/classes
How long does a class take?
Each session is 2.5 hours long, and our longer courses take place once a week.
What do you see in the future for SkandiHus and what’s the future of pottery?
On the one hand I am scaling down my production to focus on making larger one-off pieces for galleries and on the other hand, I am looking to expand the classes as they apparently sell out faster than Glastonbury tickets! So we are looking to open a third teaching facility, probably in North London this time. I really think that the world needs healing and grounding at the moment and working with clay offers both so I can’t see the demand for our classes diminishing any time soon.
In terms of making a living from ceramics, there are a lot of new makers entering the market all the time and I think this is wonderful. It partly pushes me to want to do better and it also increases my interest in all things hand-made. I think pottery had become trendy again and it’s here to stay. Hooray!