Interview with Inge Vincents

Whilst exploring Jægersborggade in Nørrebro I met a fascinating ceramicist there, Inge Vincents and I am delighted she agreed to be the next in my series of Interview with..
DD: You had an interesting journey to get where you are today as a ceramicist – can you tell us a little about that?
IV: I started playing with clay when I was five years old, and I most often I ended up with the clay in art class. It just fascinated me that you could shape this material with your bare hands; freeze a movement and leave traces that, when fired, lived on for ever. This playing went on for 32 years. I never had a commercial goal with my experiments, and I chose to read for a “sensible” business degree for my university studies. Later on I felt that I had not landed on the right shelf in life and took a complete U-turn…
DD: What inspires your work? 

IV: I am not really inspired by anything concrete, such as another object or elements of nature. I just never stopped being interested in the tactility of the clay.

DD: How would you describe your signature style?

IV: White. Translucent. Light. Organic. Tactile.
DD: What has been your biggest challenge when you were starting your business?
IV: Overcoming my own doubt as to whether it was possible to make a living out of this!
DD: How do you balance running your own creative business and life outside that? What makes you happy?
IV: The first couple of years were quite intense, and I never had the feeling of having time off work. Always had ideas queueing up inside my head all hours of the day. I think that is very common when you are running your own business. But over the years I have learned to separate the two, and I most often now I am able to enjoy my time off. In my spare time I like to listen to a lot of different music, going to the cinema, spending time with my family and harvesting my own tomatos and cucumbers in my greenhouse.
DD: What advice would you give someone planning to start their own small business?
You must only do this because you are driven by the core function of your business, not because you want to earn a lot of money or “be your own boss”. Start of by learning to work and working for someone else. Get to know HOW you work – your strengths and weaknesses. This will be extremely helpful. If you want to make a product, try and get a job a a factory and learn about the processes i production. Be prepared to spend a lot of hours and earn very little before you succeed.
DD: You are located on Jægersborggade, a very hip street in Nørrebro. What do you think makes this street special and unique? How has it developed over the last five years?
IV: Every single shop in this street is the result of someone’s dream, whether they where driven by a desire to make the best coffee or the thinnest porcelain. The shops are often manned by the owner him/herself, which gives a unique opportunity to get the story and be smitten with enthusiasm behind the particular idea.
DD: Some people liken the street to places in Berlin, which is perceived as being gritty but creative – do you see this?
IV: Superficially, perhaps; the architecture is similar to that of Berlin. I went to Berlin in the autumn of 2012 and was looking forward to find a version of Jægersborggade there, but I did not…
DD: You are Danish but have lived in the UK for a while. What do you think is the biggest difference between the two countries in terms of the approach to homes and interior design?
IV: In Denmark we have a very strong tradition for functional design and light/simple esthetics, and I think this shows on every level including our homes. We like our homes to look trendy. In my experience, the English like their homes to be cosy and sometimes take a more practical approach to interior design; if you move into your granny’s flat, and it works, why change it? We like to invite people to our homes and cook them a trendy meal. The English go out to meet at the pub or go out with friends for dinner, and thus the need for a fancy home not as great. This is of course a massive generalisation!

Check out Inge’s shop and workshop at Jægersborggade 27, 2200 København  and her website.

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