HELSINGØR, Denmark — Working out of a studio near Denmark’s Kronborg Castle, designer Gry Fager makes contemporary ceramics inspired by the patterns and prints typically associated with textiles and fabroics. She studied ceramic design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and today her work can be found in design galleries across Denmark, Europe and Asia.
Collections such as “Stitches” borrow patterns from cross stitching, which the designer calls a tribute to the “lost family tradition” of cross stitch.
The Stitches collection is decorated through transfer print, a technique generally associated with paper decoration, which allows a detailed application of a broad range of patterns and colors to the designs. The clean lines and shapes of the collection have a modern expression, while the recognisable cross-stitching patterns flirt with a traditional reference of past times.
There’s a theme of nostalgia in these works, but that’s not to write them off. The challenge in creating sets like these is to avoid the “that’s nice” pitfall. There’s a neutral setting to home decor and it’s typically what you’d find in your standard grandma’s kitchen cabinet.
Fager found the trick to avoiding that pitfall: sincerity. After a decade or so of running away from inauthentic things, mocking them with irony and then loving them ironically, it seems like we’ve broken through into post-irony, where people can enjoy simple pleasures like these without 50 caveats preceding them. Tensions have eased and rather than being inauthentic and worthy of being mocked, sets like this one seem refreshing, pleasant. Fager is able to build entire sets around one feature of something she truly loves and we have an environment to accept and appreciate that without pretense. We’re not looking at cross stitch patterns that coast through on impulse power, we’re seeing someone’s authentic appreciation for that art form.
But what do you think? Do you love or loathe these contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.
Bill Rodgers is the Managing Editor of cfile.daily.