Back in 2012, the Goldmark Gallery made a film about Anne Mette Hjortshøj, one of Denmark’s leading potters, which has now been viewed by tens of thousands of people.
Now something of a celebrity, a very humble and modest Anne Mette explains what happened next…
When Jay (gallery MD and photographer) was here to take photographs for the catalogue for my exhibition in 2012 we made a film, and when the film came out it was shown on Danish television here. And it happened that the Queen of Denmark that same summer would be coming to Bornholm on an official visit. Every single summer she takes a boat and she visits different places in Denmark, and this year she was visiting Bornholm.
The Queen herself is a ceramics collector and after she saw the film she asked if she could come and see my workshop. She had been to Korea just a few years before and she was amazed by the climbing kilns, so when she saw my climbing kiln and my Korean inspiration she wanted to come here. She even stayed 12 minutes longer than expected; we’re a little proud of that.
It was a very strange, peculiar, but quite amazing experience I have to say. One part of your brain says it’s just a person, she’s also a craftsman, but the other part is like, she’s the Queen of Denmark! She’s in all the pictures! But she is of course totally professional.
She knows a lot about ceramics. They have a very big collection in the royal family. We were invited to the boat for an official dinner the evening before and she said, ‘Would you like to sit down and have a little chat?’ She’s very good at making you feel comfortable.
She said, ‘I grew up with ceramics. I remember from my childhood my father always picked up ceramics up a certain way, looking at the back, just checking if the surface and the foot ring is ok and what the clay is like.’ Potters do that. A very unexpected experience!
Anne Mette Hjortshøj, 2016