Q + A with Lars Soendergaard
A deep rich blue has always been a color of choice at TPE, and the blue porcelain produced by Lars Soendergaard at his pottery studio in Suffolk UK is one of the most beautiful we have ever come by. We spoke with Lars about his practice and life in the UK, and the joys he finds in the repetitive process of creating functional pottery.
You have a long history of working in clay, can you expand upon that and tell us a bit about your background?
I started working in clay at the age of 14. I soon realized I liked the process and was really fascinated by the elements of earth and fire. Once I finished my school education I started an old fashioned 4 year apprenticeship as a potter/production thrower at the age of 17.
Is everything handmade by yourself or do you have a small team?
Yes, all pieces are made by myself on the wheel and all handles are pulled individually. I do not have any help these days as I prefer the peace of my studio with the occasional blast of some 70's blues.
What is it about the repetition of creating functional pottery that you find the most appealing?
I really enjoy throwing batches of pots as once you get the shape and rhythm into your body you can sort of let go and let your mind wander, but not too far as the porcelain will soon remind you. I love making items that I hope bring the user enjoyment. Whenever an old customer gets in touch, upset that they have broken their favorite mug or bowl and needing a replacement, I am overjoyed knowing how much they have loved it.
You were born in Denmark but moved to the UK in the 90s, what led to your move?
I met my future wife visiting family in Cambridge a few years before moving to London. We did not "hit it off " the first time around but we met again a couple of years later and romance grew from there. We decided it made the most sense for me to move to England as I spoke English and Danish is apparently really difficult to learn and of course vocational skills are universal.
How do your surroundings influence your work?
I guess having grown up with lots of big skies and plenty of sea has given my work a simplistic feel which I hope comes through. The countryside in Suffolk UK is very similar, probably why we ended up here in rural East Anglia.
What are three things that you are really enjoying right now?
My wife and I both love the old 17th century house in which we live, I love baking sourdough rye bread [cracked rye], which is important, growing as many vegetables as possible in the garden and cooking a healthy meal with a nice glass of burgundy. Last but not least walking our 2 lovely dogs.