After working in the fashion industry for many years, Rosanna Julie Svensson decided to go a different way. When the interest in ceramics grew bigger and bigger, she quit her job, moved to the Danish island Bornholm with her family, and became an independent ceramist. Get to know the founder behind Roxy ceramics better in this interview, and hear Rosanna share how she made her passion her way of living. The ceramicist also touches upon her eternal inspiration: the Danish nature and the Japanese aesthetic wabi-sabi, and something about how imperfection is in reality perfection.
Karmameju is proud to represent Roxy ceramics, as an addition to our Products we love collection with a self-massage-kit - exclusively sold on karmameju.com. Shaped by hand and glazed with brush on Bornholm: The self-massage-kit consists of a scallop on a pedestal and a bowl made of stoneware. Sensual and nature-connecting - developed to cultivate self-love with warm oils.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Rosanna, I am 40 years old, and live with my husband Reno and our two girls, Elin 10 years old and Agnes 5 years old. I am originally from the Danish island Bornholm, but have lived in Copenhagen for 20 years. We moved two years ago from Copenhagen to Svaneke on Bornholm.
I am a trained tailor, and as a child was quite determined that I wanted to work in something creative when I grew up. After training as a tailor, I started my own clothing brand at the age of 21, "Rosanna Julie", but I closed it at the age of 25, when it became too administrative to run the company, and there was too little time to be creative. Shortly thereafter, I started as a designer for By Malene Birger, where I later became Design Manager and then Operations Director. After 10 years at By Malene Birger, I was offered a position at Birger Christensen, as Head of Design for ROTATE and REMAIN. Alongside my work in the fashion industry, I had been making ceramics as a hobby for the past 5 years... a hobby where my passion quickly grew bigger and bigger.
From fashion to ceramics - why did you go that way?
I was convinced that I would always work in the fashion industry, but suddenly, after Copenhagen Fashion Week in 2020, I realized that that path was not the right one. There was something in me that said otherwise. Something radically different had to happen, and quite soon after that my husband and I decided that we wanted to move to Bornholm – we bought a house a week later, and two weeks after that, I resigned from my position with Birger Christensen.
It was the best decision for all of us in the family - and we haven't looked back since. I bought a ceramic kiln and started Roxy Ceramics. I love to sit with a lump of clay in front of me and let my hands create. It is meditative and therapeutic at the same time, and I think it has many similarities with my background as a tailor, which is also a craftsmanship, where a good eye for design and aesthetics is essential
You are inspired by the Danish beaches and Japanese aesthetics, how do these two fit?
The coast is right outside our house where we live. I often go for walks on the coastal path, which is one of the most beautiful places I know, and depending on the weather, nature appears either raw and brutal or calm and relaxing. What both have in common is that it is beautiful and incredibly inspiring.
The inspiration in nature can be seen, for example, in the way I glaze, where the technique is essential for the final result. I have a series of plates which are inspired by the waves of the sea that wash over the beach.
I am inspired by nature's organic forms, and the imperfect that arises from this. I am drawn to the Japanese aesthetic, wabi-sabi: appreciating the beauty of the imperfect. This means that a bowl can be perfectly imperfect in its round shape, and this is exactly where the beauty arises - this also applies to the Self-massage-kit.
Every single material used in the wabi-sabi aesthetic comes from nature – and this also applies when making ceramics, where the clay comes from the earth.It is both the organic, imperfect element that draws references to the Japanese style, but I am also fascinated by the sharper expression. For example, an octagonal bowl or plate that contrasts beautifully with the organic. It is exactly the balance that is interesting for me to find. In addition, the number 8 is a lucky number in Japan with great significance. Among other things, it means "entrance to the future".
Why is imperfection important to you in your work?
The perfect is boring and it has no nuances... It is interesting to challenge the eye with the imperfect. The imperfection also emphasizes that it is handmade - that there is a "human sender" who has shaped it with their own hands.
In a world where many things are digital or made on machines, we need closeness more and more. The feeling of holding a piece of craftsmanship in your hands - a unique shape that makes it even more interesting to examine. The eye is curious because the bowl is not perfectly round, but organic in its shape – it invites you to hold it and feel it, so that the senses can be stimulated.
It can almost feel as if it speaks to you, as if there is a story behind it, rather than standing with a perfectly round bowl that is mass-produced.
You glaze your objects with brush, what do you achieve by this creatively loving process?
The bowl and the scallop I have glazed with brush. I glaze with different techniques, but here I like the proces of brushing the glaze on instead of dipping it in the glaze, spray it on or pour it on the objects. I can control the proces better in this way, and the glaze runs down more controllably during firing when I do it this way.
What is the best you can do to yourself to DO YOU?
The most quintessential thing for me is to give love to myself. In a busy everyday life with children, there is not much time for self-indulgence. That is why this contact with my body is incredibly important.
My Self-massage-kit is made to perform the Ayurvedic self-massage Abhyanga. The ritual gives me energy and is a basic feeling of well-being – a boost. It takes 20-30 min. performing the ritual – in the grand scheme of things, it's the least you can do to give yourself the attention and love you deserve.
The ritual gives me energy and is a basic feeling of well-being – a boost. It takes 20-30 min. performing the ritual – in the grand scheme of things, it's the least you can do to give yourself the attention and love you deserve.
In addition, the best thing is being with my family and friends – a social need that also means a lot to me, and to be able to cultivate my passion with ceramics. It gives me a very special therapeutic tranquility while challenge myself - I love that.
Do you have a motto? Something you remind yourself of?
Our move to Bornholm has really made me aware, that the things I do "must be fun". It may sound naïve, but that is exactly what is essential for me when I make ceramics. Cultivating my passion – looking inward and focusing on what I want. Both completely selfishly, and when it comes to those closest to me. The focus for me is clearly to be out of the hamster wheel, to have a dynamic and versatile everyday life, which is full of creativity, passion and presence.
Discover more Roxy Ceramics on @roxy_ceramics_