As a self-professed professional design enthusiast, I’m constantly searching for amazing work to share with you. But I am the first to admit that I have failed to do my own work to find and share designers of Color. That is a gross oversight on my part. There is dramatic underrepresentation of designers and makers of Color in the design world. It’s reported that less than 3% of graduates in Interior Design in the US are black. This massive underrepresentation is a disservice to anyone who not only values social justice, equity, and inclusion but also to anyone who appreciates creativity. Creative conversations can only evolve and grow if all voices are not only at the table but listened to wholeheartedly.
I can make one small contribution to breaking down the walls of white supremacy by ensuring that Apartment 34 shares the stories of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) who are in creative fields. I committing to do that in thoughtful ways on Apartment 34 on a regular basis. To be very specific, I am committing to sharing the work of BIPOC on Apartment 34 every week.
Today I want to introduce you to a ceramics studio based in Copenhagen. Originally from Milwaukee, founder Eric Landon was introduced to throwing ceramics on a wheel at the age of 16 but didn’t pursue his passion professionally until he moved to Copenhagen in the late 1990s. He graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2008 as a master ceramicist and began doing major art installations and exhibiting sculptures in galleries around the world. But Landon found that version of the art world too elite and limiting. He felt compelled to share his work with a much broader public. He also wanted to get back to a much simpler pure form of ceramics – just the potter and his wheel.
Landon opened Tortus Studio in 2012. His twin brother runs the business side. The studio name refers to Landon’s preferred pace of work – slow and steady – which is what sophisticated hand-thrown pottery requires. And Landon’s work – beautifully simple, majestic vessels in muted tones and sometimes dramatic scale – have gained quite the following. Landon won Craftsman of the Year at Denmark’s Design Awards in 2015, but it’s his savvy use of Instagram, namely the captivating videos of him working at the wheel that has amassed nearly 1million followers.
Tortus Copenhagen has taken up residence in a historic house in the heart of Old Town Copenhagen. Their space fully embodies Landon’s commitment to authenticity and the handmade. The ground floor houses the showroom while upstairs is the studio and work areas for visiting artists and students. You can go to take immersive workshops directly from Landon.
I am just obsessed with the minimalist style Landon’s work. It belies the amount of skill and mastery you must possess to make a thing that looks so simple. You can shop pieces from Tortus – or if you’re lucky enough to be able to travel, even purchase a spot in one of their upcoming workshops right HERE. I’ll be counting down the days until I can return to Copenhagen and can visit Tortus in person.
If you have a BIPOC artist or designer you love, please feel free to share their name in comments. If you’re looking for more inspiration immediately the Black Designers & Artists Guild is a great place to start.
For more BIPOC designers features on Apartment 34, CLICK HERE.
images c/o tortus copenhagen