Ceramic artist Hannah Koppel on finding space on her own doorstep
The daughter of Henning Koppel (the artist and Georg Jensen designer) doesn’t have to travel far to find the peace, quietness and light that inspires her…
A hole-and-corner’ is an old English term meaning a secret place: somewhere you go to escape the world, to be inspired, to contemplate and create. Where is your ‘hole-and-corner’?
I had one when I was a child, but now I think it’s on the veranda. I have a sofa and I can lie down there and look at the water, I can read – I can just be there.
Can you explain why it is so special to you?
It’s because there’s quietness there. I can think, I can look into my workshop, I can hear the water and I can just see the light.
Is it important to you to have somewhere to escape from the hustle and bustle of life?
No, it’s not important but if I want it then I go for a long walk, I can walk by the sea and into the forest and back again. It can take two hours – and that I like very much. There’s a lot of deer and very old trees and a very good path by the sea…
What do you like to listen to when you’re working?
I don’t very often, but if so it should be music like relaxed jazz. Many people ask me why don’t I listen to audio books, but I can’t have that!
What elements do you think make a perfect ‘hole-and-corner’?
Light; I couldn’t move to an apartment with no light. I have to have it, I’m used to it – and I’m very spoilt here, I know that.
Is it private to you or do you let other people visit?
Quiet doesn’t matter, I have 10 grandchildren and three children!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I was educated in ceramics and then I had – with my husband – a publishing house. I had that for 23 years and then I was tired of it. My husband he said to me, ‘Hannah, now you’re going to sell that publishing house!’ and I said, ‘No, I can’t do it, we have so many authors!’ But he said that I had to sell and start to make ceramics again. I think that’s the best advice I ever had – and I did it. I sold it and started again.
The centenary of Henning Koppel’s birth is celebrated by Georg Jensen this year with the launch of a new piece, 1041, inspired by a 1954 design of his found in their archive.