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  • Malene Knudsen in Britt Sisseck shirt

  • I am a Danish ceramic artist based in Copenhagen. I was born in 1988 in Jutland where I grew up with my parents and my older sister. I have a formal background in architecture from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Denmark and have previously worked in the fields of design and graphic design. I started working with ceramics in 2018 and established my studio in 2020. 

  • Malene Knudsen ceramics
  • 1. Any advice you would like to share for aspiring creatives in your field? 

  • Do what you love and be ambitious about it. Tell yourself that you are skilled and believe in it. You create your own reality. Focus on what you are good at and get help for what you find difficult. Learn to love the process as it is important for your artistic development and do not be afraid of the small bumps along the way. Think big thoughts, but focus on the tangible progress, and make small sub-goals so you feel that you are on the move. Be true to yourself and your artistic abilities and seek the path that is right for you.

  • Malene Knudsen in Britt Sisseck dress
  • 2. What is the hardest lesson you’ve learnt? And how did you grow from that?

  • That life is fragile. 5 years ago, I became very ill on a trip to Asia with a good friend. I had been infected with Typhys and had been hospitalized several times. It became a longer course of illness, but I came out on the other side with a different mindset and a brighter mind than I had before. I learned that I should not take life for granted and that I should spend it doing what makes me happy, with those I love. That may in fact be a piece of advice. You must keep your relationships in order and clean up things you need to clean up. And it is not only in case you get sick or things are put on the line. I think it's an advantage no matter where you stand in life. I learned that happiness is something that you create, and not something you find in a place where you have forgotten to look.

 

  • 3. What was your biggest revelation as a result of living through the COVID-19 pandemic?

    I got the opportunity to work more with ceramics, which before COVID-19 was just a hobby. Practicing full time and seeing a development in my work were so satisfying. I started dreaming of creating my own and working for myself, and suddenly it became a reality when I felt an interest from the outside world. I am very grateful for that.

  • 4. What is the relevance of fashion in society?

    With fashion we tell stories. It can be used to express ourselves, create an extension of our personality or an empathy for another role. I think it is very powerful that you can create a visual identity with the help of a few tools. That said, the fashion industry is a huge environmental sinner, and it is therefore important that we all think sustainably, whether we design, produce, or buy clothes. I think it is an important message to send and I have a great respect for designers who take it seriously.

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    Malene Knudsen ceramics
  • 5. How do you think your childhood surroundings and environment have influenced your sense of style?

    I grew up near the forest and spent a lot of time in nature looking for different materials and textures. I have always been very interested in materials and the quality of them. My childhood home was a home where in my eyes most things are in order. A home with a sense of quality and appreciation of the individual expression.

    With my grandmother, it was quite the opposite. She was a collector, and her home was a large treasure trove to explore. There were oil paintings on the walls in large, gilded frames, hand-woven silk rugs, showcases with porcelain sculptures and chandeliers in all of the living rooms. She was a fine lady with a great sense of style, and I loved hearing about her younger days wearing tight-fitting suits, big hats, and furs. She was her own and was never afraid to stand out, which has always fascinated me.

    I think I have elements of my grandmother in me, but I learned from my parents to balance and simplify. I know my style and I know what suits me. Style for me must be comfortable. I have become too old to buy pants that are only meant to be worn while standing or shoes that limit me. As for my work as an artist, I am rarely particularly fashionable for everyday life. That's why I really appreciate wearing something special when the opportunity arises.

  • Malene Knudsen in Britt Sisseck shirt
  • 6. What does the word “style” mean to you? And how do people emerge as “style icons”?

    Style has a great impact on me, whether it is in fashion, architecture, design, or art. I have been interested in style for as long as I can remember. I appreciate personal style, and the ability to put together unique elements. To me, style icons are personalities that I respect and admire. People who, from their stills, create a complex special narrative, and who go their own ways and stand by them. People who have the ability to think differently and be ahead of their time.

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    Malene Knudsen ceramics

  • 7. What’s your favourite way of styling a classic white boyfriend shirt?

    Simple and classic. For the most part, I would go for a casual look and pair it with some cropped men’s trousers in sand-colour or black with a matching jacket for a pair of loafers. I like when an outfit has edge with masculine elements. I do not use much makeup, but always wear some gold jewellery. For a more feminine look, I would add a black silk ribbon with bow around the neck and replace the loafers with heels.

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