A visit with Danish Ceramics studio Tortus Copenhagen

Slow & Steady Wins the Race

By Anna Carnick

In keeping with this week's ode to Danish design, we sat down with Eric Landon of Tortus. This Copenhagen-based pottery studio masterfully combines traditional techniques (every piece is handmade on a wheel) with a contemporary design sensibility.

Tortus takes great joy in the act of making. "Like the noble creature from which we derive our name," the studio notes, "we move at our own humble pace." Tortus also treasures the natural effects that the manual process has on its work: "Each piece tells a story about the flow and interaction of the materials that gives it its own unique DNA."

We chatted about the growing appreciation for fine ceramics, and the realities of working in a time-honored craft.

Photo © Tortus Copenhagen Photo © Tortus Copenhagen

Photo © Tortus Copenhagen Photo © Tortus Copenhagen

AC: Ceramics are having quite a moment; it seems they're being covered more now than ever before. Why do you think there's such an energy around ceramics—and especially young ceramicists—right now?

EL: Handmade ceramics seems to be an oasis from the fast-paced world we live in. It has it own values. It is humble, honest, and seemingly exempt from the forces that create, as what is called in Denmark, a “buy and throw away culture.” Handmade ceramics fill a growing need that people have for filling their lives with possessions of timeless value.

The Tortus studio; photo © Tortus Copenhagen The Tortus studio; photo © Tortus Copenhagen

Photo © Tortus Copenhagen Photo © Tortus Copenhagen

AC: Do you feel like the audience for your own work is growing?

EL: Definitely. We have a hard time keeping up with demand in the moment. There is a whole movement going and ironically enough, its powered by something quite digital. The Internet and social media give small holistic producers like us a louder voice and our audience is no longer local like those of makers of the past. Our audience is global, and we can share our story each and every day with the click of a mouse.

AC: What is your goal for the coming year as a studio? 

EL: Due to our growing number of collaborations and other activities, the number of hands working in the studio will be growing in the coming year. Our goal is expand our ceramics production while nurturing a young generation of potters.

Photo © Tortus Copenhagen Photo © Tortus Copenhagen

AC: Any upcoming events or studio-related news we should note as well?

EL: We have a lot of things in the works, but it's all a bit secret for now. Stay tuned!

The Tortus studio, photo © Tortus Copenhagen View from the courtyard of the Tortus studio, photo © Tortus Copenhagen

  • Text by

    • Anna Carnick

      Anna Carnick

      Anna is Pamono’s Managing Editor. Her writing has appeared in several arts and culture publications, and she's edited over 20 books. Anna loves celebrating great artists, and seriously enjoys a good picnic.