Tone Von Krogh was born in Switzerland but grew up in Norway. She came to Manchester in 1994 to complete a BA in Three Dimensional Design at Manchester Metropolitan University and never went back. Tone von Krogh Ceramics was established as soon as she graduated. My work has been widely exhibited in the UK and abroad since.
After years of having retail studios at art centres in Cambridge and Manchester, she now work from a purpose built studio in my garden in Greater Manchester where she run classes as well as making my range of functional ceramics with a strong Scandinavian style.
Quick fire questions!Who /what is your inspiration? Nature is my biggest inspiration.My current collection of contemporary domestic Ceramics is strongly influenced by my impressions and memories of the winter landscapes in Norway. When the snow covers trees, rocks, paths and architecture; any sharp edges become soft and everyday shapes may become unrecognisable. I have tried to bring the same feel to my work with a range of tactile, wavy vases and softly distorted beakers, bowls and bottles. The colour range is reflecting the many tones of snow and ice and winter skies.How did you get to where you are today? I spent a summer doing an apprenticeship in the pottery at the Norwegian Folk Museum in Oslo before studying ceramics to degree level. The last 25 years has been hard graft and commitment to keeping my little business goingWhat task do you prefer to delegate?
My favorite process is the making process; being hands on and creative. I'm happy to delegate preparing and weighing the clay for throwing, mixing glazes, sanding bottoms of pots and packing. Before this year's lockdown, I was lucky enough to have someone helping out in the studio doing those tasks. I would also happily delegate all the admin like writing invoices, printing postage labels, keeping the website up to date...
If we asked you to pick your favourite product, what would it be and why?
My favorite product to make is a vase. No two are exactly the same as I cut them up, wobble them and reassemble them. I love the playful nature of working with them. They also are pretty good at displaying flowers in an effortless yet complimentary way.
What is the most exciting thing that has happened since you began your journey with Tone Von Krogh Ceramics? I am actually really struggling to think of any one particular thing. One early happy memory was having work in Liberty's Christmas window.
Which famous person would you love to buy your products and why? My greatest hero is David Attenborough, yet it feels wrong to say I wish he would buy my work. I think I would love it if he liked my work. That would be enough. I appreciate the value of anyone famous endorsing your work. Liz Earle bought a set of vases from me during the lockdown this summer and talked about my work to her social media followers. It created a lot of extra sales, new customers and interest.
Do you prefer sketchbook or laptop? Sketchbook, but my designs mostly happen on the wheel.
Which is you favourite process - Design or Make? I prefer the design process - which is also the making process as I tend to sketch directly in material. Clay lends itself well to sketching in.
What do you use everyday that you wish you had designed?
I love using other people's handmade pieces every day and don't really wish I had designed them.
I use Sue Paraskevas bowls every day. David Ashby's jug is out every time we have gravy... I love that the pieces we use remind me of the people who made them.
What constitutes your perfect day off? Ski touring up a mountain with a guide to find some perfect lines to ski down. No crowds, just nature and then the most amazing lunch in a tiny mountain refuge.
Whilst I keep dreaming of being able to get to the alps again, an early morning cycle with friends to one of Manchester's best bakeries, Trove or Pollen followed by some other form of creative activity - I have loved making wreaths for our front door during lockdown - some time to read a book and eating dinner al fresco with a safe number of friends has been my recipe for a perfect day off more recently.
Do you have a favourite small brand you are loving at the moment? I have many, but my favourite most recently is Jules Hogan Knitwear.
Her styling is beautifully curated and the pieces are like a warm hug.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I love playing around with flowers, so floristry would be the obvious one.
Do you have a studio playlist…
I listen to Radio 6 music all day. Fridays have the best music with desert island disco and the guest mix
Tea or coffee in the studio? My studio drink tends to be water with lemon and mint. I love coffee, but it makes my hands shake, which is no good for throwing.
What can we expect in the future?
I'll aim to keep adding pieces to my range. Finding peace and time to develop new work isn't always easy. Watch this space...
We passionately care about where our products come from and who makes them, so thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.