‘I laugh when I hear Anne Mette say “It’s just mud, it’s just clay” because to me, as I cradle one of her pots in my hand, it is anything but.’ Nigel Slater for Goldmark’s Anne Mette Hjortshøj catalogue 2020.
Goldmark, Uppingham is welcoming back one of today’s great potters, Anne Mette-Hjortshøj, for an exhibition of new work at the gallery from November. At the time of writing the exhibition can be visited in person by appointment and be seen 24/7 on goldmarkart.com and on goldmark.tv.
Anne Mette Hjortshøj began her career in ceramics with a student apprenticeship to legendary potter Phil Rogers in 1998. Rogers has said that he was apprehensive before he met her; with her arrival, however, he knew instinctively that Anne Mette was not only humble and attentive but greatly talented, displaying inner strength and determination that would ensure a long and creative career.
Anne Mette has built three large kilns in her native Denmark, the latest a two chamber wood firing kiln built in September 2011 at her ramshackle farmhouse on the west coast of Bornholm. Though all her pots exhibit her desire to challenge herself in glaze and form, her slab bottles are certainly Anne Mette’s tour de force. Her pottery combines beautiful aesthetics with a function befitting the hardiest domestic ware.
Despite her modest comment above about ‘just mud’ Ms Hjortshøj spares nothing in her work to create memorable and life enhancing ceramics. Speaking as she was preparing for the exhibition Anne Mette Hjortshøj commented:
‘We are firing my two chamber wood kiln in three weeks time and the pots need to be the best I ever made for this firing - again. I have a new batch of ash prepared for a new ash glaze and blends of wild clays that I need to prepare … It is difficult and it is a time consuming journey.
Later she said…
‘… My pots are drying, the bigger jars must be finished today as I only have the remaining two weeks for smaller pieces and few new ideas to be added to the upcoming firing. I am working towards an exhibition, with the Goldmark Gallery in England. I am working towards an exhibition in this finest Gallery in the world when it comes to showing studio pottery.’
Practical, charming and simply beautiful the work of Anne Mette Hjortshøj are probably best described by Nigel Slater - ‘Pots that enrich my life simply by being there.’