Things tell more if they are made by people who are truly in love with their craft. From people’s passion of hand made design to the uniqueness of artful handicraft, author Karina Sventitskayte set out to explore what Aarhus’ stores have to offer.
If you are searching for something original and non-trivial, something what reflects master’s techniques and secrets of craft, then you should visit numerous handicraft shops which are spread in small and nice Aarhus streets.
Nr4 Handicrafts, Gl. Munkegade 4
It is a workshop run by several designers. Here you can find whatever you want to: from colorful ceramic lamps to children clothes. Every day different designer works there, so you can always meet people who know the process of making things from inside. The day I came to this little shop, I met Kirsten – a jewelry specialist. She was studying at a German Design School and is now doing her own line of contemporary jewelry under the name of Baks fair.
“You have a feeling that you buy something unique” – Kirsten told me, and I absolutely agree. Of course, usually people don’t think about the craft process and energy, which a master passes on his creation. However, we can always feel that someone did it especially for us, because all the hand made items are very personal and that is its main value.
Personality in handicraft can be found in different aspects of work such as perception of culture, people and this particular craft. In Nr4 Handicrafts you can see the influence of Scandinavian motives on designers. “Culture is very important for the way in which you do things”, says Kirsten, while showing me chairs which can be easily transformed to couches.
Absolutely everything in this workshop reflects the hand of a designer. I was totally impressed by children clothes, not even clothes but labels with names of masters. It means, if you are wearing these clothes you know that it was made by Inger A., for example.
It is important that a designer can construct the thing in the way the customer wants it. Kirsten for instance, pays a lot of attention on how a person wears this or that particular jewelry. She showed me wedding rings on which newlyweds can make their own fingerprints. Isn’t it amazing?!
Art de Mix, Klostergade 62
The next stop I made was a gallery called Art De Mix. Customers can find here everything for themselves, their homes and gardens. There are two ceramics masters and two for textiles. Again, everything is very personal and full of designers’ inspiration. Here I met Anita Taarsted. She is a ceramic master born in Aarhus and makes incredible ceramic bowls, candlesticks and jewelry. She told me that they run the workshop by themselves. “We are not supported by the state at all”, and she adds with a laughter: “besides our education.”
In this workshop customers can choose items from the catalogue, and then skillful hands of master create it for you. What is interesting is that Anita, also as Kirsten, singled out that everything is connected with the design tradition. She has a small pendant made in Russian tradition of intertwined silver twigs and a blue flower on a ceramic basis in the middle. She was so impressed by this small thing that made some jewelry which reminds traditional Russian ornamentation.
Anita has her own secret of ceramics production. That is why all her work is so unique and interesting. If you are willing to have a hand made sink and every morning investigate various colorful pictures on it check Art De Mix gallery.
Ametyst, Klostergade 5
The last workshop I visited was the Ametyst – the shop of jewelry made of stones run by US designer Timothy Alan Tompkins. Some people believe that stones have some mysterious power, give energy and even help to treat some ailments. Besides, depending on when you are born, there exists a calendar, which shows the stone that is closest to you. For example, the sign of Taurus, from 21 of April to 21 of May, is very lucky with emerald – it gives people born in these dates wisdom which leads them to their targets.
Ametyst is located in the very center of the city and exists there for 21 years already. I was impressed by that and asked if newly opened mainstream shops influence on sails. “They don’t bother me, I just do what I do” – was the answer. Of course, if you are interested in what you are doing, you will not loose your passion for that. Jewelry making is a very painstaking craft because you should be very precise and thorough. I was always impressed by hand made jewelry. In Ametyst you can find a great variety of different necklaces, earrings or bracelets according to your astronomic calendar or just preferences.
“I remember you being a child” – as though women are usually the customers here, Timothy told me that some of them he remembers being small.
If you want to become one of these customers ‘who used to be small’, or have an interest in handicraft you can find these shops in the city center and choose which kind of craft is closer to you.