Take a captivating journey into the realm of ceramic artistry as we sit down for an insightful interview with Kirsten Voortman, the talented creator behind Studio K in Lisbon.
Explore the elegance and meticulous craftsmanship of Kiki’s porcelain. Uncover the perfect blend of tradition and modernity, as each unique piece embodies her artistic vision.
When did you decide to pursue a career in pottery and how did you learn to do it?
When I moved from Amsterdam to Lisbon about 8 years ago, I was making illustrations and working as a textile designer. I was always intrigued by ceramics but in my art school I didn’t have the guts to step into the, rather closed ceramic department. So, when I was exploring Lisbon by foot to get to know the city and all of its ceramics, I came across a studio where they were teaching ceramics…. And I grabbed the opportunity!
After that I did a lot of exploring, in the last 7 years, different clays, different classes/workshops, but couldn’t quite find ‘my’ material nor ‘my’ technique…. Until I came into contact with slipcasting with porcelain!
Porcelain isn’t easy to work with, it is a clay without elasticity (like bread without gluten, it dries out fast and therefor also breaks fast!) But, once it has gone into the kiln twice, it is stronger than any other ceramics so you can make very thin & translucent pieces, and it also has a very smooth velvety finish when unglazed. I then did an internship in the Netherlands at a well-known porcelain studio (to learn everything there is to know about porcelain) and then opened my first studio here in Lisbon!
What was the inspiration behind the Next Memory’s candle cup?
When Dennis and Patrick came to my studio to talk about their ideas, we all agreed that the shape of the cup needed to be very simple and both beautiful and practical. They had a vision, it needed to be a cup that could last for years so it needed to be timeless and versatile, when the candle is all burned up, you are left with a beautiful porcelain cup that you can still use. Also, we already knew that there would be special editions of the candle cup, so to not distract from the decoration, the design needed to be simple.
I made the first 200 pieces, all in white, and then made the special editions, (which I really loved to make, they were all beautiful and fun to make!)
The original cup was a bit different than current version, some changes were made to make the cup more stable and also it is now cast a lot thinner, so the cups are now translucent. I don’t produce them anymore, as the candle cups became so successful, I simply could not produce those quantities by myself anymore!
Where can we buy your creations?
At my studio in Pateo Alfacinha and online at www.studio-k.pt
Also, in Lisbon at ICON (Chiado)
Currently working on getting more points of sale, in Europe and Portugal. Clients can also contact me and visit my studio if they have specific wishes, I do customized pieces.
How does Lisbon and Portugal have an impact on your work?
I really love Lisbon and its colors, especially the colors of the houses, sunbathing in the sun and therefor a bit faded by it. I love to work with color in my work but they need to be specific…I like to call them ‘dirty’ pastels, no too bright (a bit faded too like the Lisbon houses). Combining colors in my new work, my lamp collection, again reflects the colors of Lisbon, love making color combinations that are not obvious.
For me, a foreigner in Portugal, all of the old Portuguese loiça/tableware/ceramics are beautiful, ranging from Bordalo to just simple plates that I find a fleamarkets. I find inspiration in them and like to combine them with my own porcelain pieces.
Next Memory: Nurturing Local Creativity
At Next Memory, we’re not just a brand; we’re a community of artists and designers.
We believe in the power of collaboration, and that’s why we proudly support local talent.
Together, we’re not just creating products, but weaving stories that celebrate our vibrant creative ecosystem. Join us on this inspiring journey.