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Q&A with Eva Gernandt - by Mutti

Meet the inimitable Eva Gernandt Waldekranz, founder and designer of our much loved By Mutti ceramics. Here she talks china, tattoos and living by the water in Sweden.

 

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How did you start By Mutti?

The by Mutti design and brand was started about ten years ago. At that time I was working with my my handmade ceramics and did these Tattoo patterns and also the paintings, all about the history of the seamen from the part in southern Sweden were I partly grew up. One day I saw clearly the connection with the story, the tradition of the Old School tattoos and the great voyages to China and the famous China. So I decided to make a complete old fashioned china tableware.

Why is it called By Mutti?

My german grandmother was a Mutti, so was my mother and so am I.

What is your formal or informal training in ceramics?

I was actually trained by my great Muttis brother in Germany. Gert Grove and his wife Lu were at that time very famous ceramists and Bildhauer. I was trained in the oldfashioned way from the very start of the profession.

Tell us a bit about where and how the china is made?

The china is made in a small family factory in Kanton. I was so lucky to find them. I have met some of them and we have a very good collaboration.

Tell us a bit about the team you work with?

Most of the work I do myself. By Mutti as a company has had a very good organic growth. We also have had the luck to to be found by our wonderful retailers. In that way we are guaranteed to also have a flexible and personal collaboration. When I need a hand with digital design and business matters I mostly turn to my son and daughter. They are both successful designers and entrepeneurs. When I need an extra hand with packing I have an assistant.

Is there such a thing as a typical day at By Mutti and what does it look like?

When I have an office day I work from my home that is very close to a shipyard. I can overlook the harbor from my window. When I work from my storage or workshop I go to the Old Porcelain Factory just outside Stockholm, located in the archipelago. Either I pack some orders, do some work in my workshop, or attend to my new collaboration with the factory. We have developed a series of earthenproof products.

Does seafaring imagery have a particular resonance for you?

The seafaring history has always captivated me. I have had the luck to always be very close to the seaside. Since I was a small girl I really admired the fishermen and later when I came in contact with the old seamen in our little village by sea in southern Sweden, I really fell in love for ever. My aim with the design was to tell their story.

There is a lot of tattoo inspiration in your work. Do you have a tattoo?

I do not have a tattoo.

What would be your favourite meal to eat off a By Mutti dinner service?

Yesterday I made “new Potatoes” with cod, egg and butter sauce, fresh salad, and ofcourse lot of dill. A favourite!

Are there any potters you particularly admire?

I have been taught in a very traditional classic way, so one of the true sources of inspiration is Hamada, the Japanese potter, artist and philosopher.

What next for By Mutti? Any exciting plans on the horizon?

My next step is to develop the collaboration with the Gustavsberg Porcelain Factory. We started last year with the project, but things have slowed down as every were.

It is two lines. A tableware and the ovenproof . The designs are called Hako and Hado. Also I have started to work with handmade pieces…

Why do you think By Mutti and The Hambledon are such a good partnership?

I think that that you, Hambledon girls who saw the design somewere and wanted to collaborate were naturally a good match. I liked your store from the start, and you liked the design. But most important is our flexibility and mutual respect for our businesses. And I think we bonded further when I came to see you and the Hambledon and realized I wanted to lay my hands on every single piece you have. I adore your style and how you work with your business.

You are based in Gustavsberg and Skillinge. Whilst many of us are familiar with Stockholm, can
you give us some top places and sights to visit in these lesser known places.

I am actually based in Stockholm were my home is on the island of Djurgården. A national park in the middle of Stockholm and so much worth a visit!!

Gustavsberg is a 30 minute drive outside Stockholm out to the archipelago. The archipelago is a wonderful area to visit with the islands, it does not matter were you go. Just take a boat trip..Every place is so beautiful!

Skillinge, an eight hour drive south from Stockholm, was the one time world famous place for the biggest sailing fleet in Sweden. From here and other small villages by the coast, long voyages around the world started. They could take up to 3-4 years. And young boys came back as men.

The villages along the white shores are very beautiful with small houses and narrow lanes.

This area is now a popular spot for artists, because of the light, the rolling hills the mighty sea. I love this are and suggest that every piece of this small area is worth a visit.

Some of our favourite pieces are below but for our full selection of by Mutti chinaware via the link below.

 

 

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