Hej! Welcome to join me for a day in my Swedish ceramic studio in the heart of Stockholm.
My name is Mia Blanche and I am a ceramist. Ceramics have been my hobby for many many years and for a few years now it has been my business. I love creating my own things, and to be able to experience that I can actually sell them is a great feeling. Other people obviously like the same things as I do! My old routine at the Migrant Appeals Board [my last job] seems so far far away.
In Sweden we are given payed parental leave for 12 months and after being at home with my fourth child, I felt I had enough of being involved in a law practice, so I quit my job and tried to start production of textiles for children. Instead, a year later I found I was a member at the ceramic studio K2 and before I knew it, I began to sell my own ceramics!
What a fantastic sunny morning! The view from my home is great. I live with my husband and kids on Södermalm. Stockholm is built on seven islands and this one is the most south one – ‘söder’ means south.
I normally get up at 7.30. My daughter’s school starts at 8.30, but she is now 10 and walks there by her self. It is only a few blocks.
I feed the birds every day now that there is so much snow, I also have a ceramic bird feeder filled with nuts. Today it’s minus 9 degrees outside.
Breakfast with my family. My youngest son, 5 years old, makes himself a well filled glass of chocolate milk.
I make a ‘poolish’ loaf [easier then a sourdough], I am in a period of baking bread. In the morning I mix water with wheat flour and 5g of yeast and let it grow in room temperature during the day, in the afternoon I mix it with the rest of the ingredients.
Going to kindergarden is faster with a sledge and more fun!
I love bread as you can see… In Sweden we eat a lot of dark bread also. Overall the food culture we have here has many influences from all over the world. There are almost no Swedish restaurants but a lot of restaurants with Italian, Thai, Greek, Indian, Lebanese, Sushi etc. Multi-culti!
Stockholm is full of green areas or maybe I mean white areas… I walk through the park ‘Vita bergen’ which means ‘the white hills’.
We haven’t had this much snow over such a long period for many years, it’s been white since Christmas! The snow has cost an enormous amount of money this year, todays newspaper reports it costs 15 milion euros each day clearing the streets and railways!
On my way I pass this grocery shop which is also a restaurant. I am so thirsty I need to buy a fruit juice. Everywhere there are men clearing the roofs, see how it falls down in a shower!
I’m now at K2 dressed for work in my blue artist shirt!
My first task – check the temperature on the ovens to see that nothing went wrong. It takes almost 24 hours for them to cool down, two ovens were started yesterday evening, now they are 644 and 625 degrees. I will not be able to open them today. It is almost like christmas every time you open them – you never know how the result might be.
The most important part of the morning routine at K2 is kaffe latte from the coffeshop next to us.
It is 9.15 already and Anna one of the girls I share the studio with has not shown up. Getting worried. Five minutes later I get an sms saying she is stuck in traffic jam. Soon there will be coffee!
Anna is here! I have forgot to put up the pennant outside, so Anna does it. After a few minutes Helena also shows up. Great, there are three of us for coffe today!
Got an email from Cosas.se, one of my retailers telling me one of my cups was in a decorating magazine, so I had to go and buy it after the coffee! But they didn’t have it in this store.
However I found another magazine that had one of my cups in a styling feature. I was very pleased with the layout and proud to show the girls.
I share the studio with four girls, they were here for a long time before me. I met this group of fantastic ceramists when I accompanied my photographer friend to shoot their exhibition in a public greenhouse in ‘The garden of Bergianska’.
Filling the big oval oven takes a while. It is like a puzzle. Here on top are my new pots ‘Kruka Oriental’.
Today’s project is making some stamps of gypsum, it is fast and fun. Today I won’t be here so long, my daughter is coming to the studio after school at 2.30 and we will take the car and buy her a new skiing jacket. Tomorrow she is going skiing with her school and had a break-down this morning when she found out her skiing jacket’s sleeves had become to short…
Today’s lunch is fried rice – leftovers from yesterdays take-away-dinner.
Tomorrow I will deliver 12 of my ‘Farmor’ cups [meaning grandma] to a shop down-town which is close to my son’s swimming school. And I pack another bag with samples to show a new reseller. I have a beautiful Japanese diary where I write my orders as they come in.
My daughter arrives and loaded with bags we are off to go shopping. Normally I go directly from the studio and pick my son up at kindergarden at 4, but today my husband will leave early from work and pick him up at 5.
My daughter found her jacket and I also found some stuff for my office from a great shop called Granit which stocks modern basic office things,
Home again in the late afternoon and I continue baking.
It is getting lighter every day and the view is fantastic with the afternoon sun. In the darkest period of winter the sun goes down at 3, but now it is up until 5. In summer it [almost] never gets dark!
I edit photos at the computer in my kitchen.
This evening we have dinner at my parents-in-laws house 15 min outside Stockholm with car. Look what a lot of snow they have!
Author: Rohini Wahi
Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.
She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org