Telling Stories in Clay – Malene Knudsen Ceramics

11th December 2020
Raw matt textured Swan, Shell and Flower vases from Malene Knudsen ceramics displayed in a minimal space, styled with an oak Wishbone chair.

Firstly, I need to thank my friend Hannah Trickett for the introduction to Malene Knudsen’s ceramics. I can always trust her recommendations and she spoke so highly of her work having taken one of her clay workshops in Copenhagen. Lovers of handmade ceramics – take note!

Her work just beyond breathtaking. I hope I find one under the tree this year. Hint-hint, Rob.

There’s something other-worldly about Knudsen’s sixteen-piece collection of vases, intended for minimal floral arrangements. And yet, they’re based on familiar organic shapes influenced by the natural world. The glimpse of a seed head, the curve of a spine, the bud of a flower.

Pale cream sculptural Swan and Flower vases designed and made by Danish ceramic artist Malene Knudsen in raw textured clay, styled on plinths.

With a formal background in architecture from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, she Malene began her journey into clay in 2018 and established her studio this year. Growing up near a forest she spent her time collecting and studying flowers, pieces of wood, shells and stones. You can see how these memories have gone on to influence her work.

Each individual ‘Swan’, ‘Shell’ and ‘Flower’ vase is made using a coiling technique before they’re shaped into unique forms. The super-raw texture is the result of a mix of coarse firesand, crushed brick and five types of stoneware clay. Unglazed to emphasise the beautiful imperfections, the stoneware naturally fires into warm and neutral tones of cream sand, beige, brown and black.

Woman holds a raw black clay vase designed in a white dress against a white brick wall.

“I am focused on combining art, design and functionality. It is important for me to design and create objects with a function. I like to combine contrasts between the soft organic shape and the hard material, so my works appear both masculine and feminine with their porous and robust forms. By using only raw stoneware clay, firesand and recycled bricks the objects retain the strong connection to the earth.”

Malene Knudsen
A woman sits on a stool surrounded by the Malene Knudsen ceramics collection. An earthy selection of black, cream and brown raw clay flower vases.
A single brown clay Shell vase sits on a table with jar of art brushes.
Striking and sculptural - the tall Flower Vase, designed by Copenhagen based ceramic artist Malene Knudsen, from raw textured stoneware clay.
An artful, sculptural black flower vase made from coiled raw, unglazed stoneware clay on a plinth. Designed by Malene Knudsen in Copenhagen.

You can purchase the Malene Knudsen ceramics collection through her online shop. Prices start from €425.00.

Discover more minimal handmade ceramics from Bergen-based ceramist Laurie Poast.

Images courtesy of Malene Knudsen ceramics.