Oh how Instragam can connect you with the most wonderful people. I became instagram friends with Hannah Blackall-Smith while bonding over being expats in Denmark. Where to go in Copenhagen, some cool ceramics we both admired etc. I’ve always been drawn to pottery since my uni years. Finding someone in Copenhagen that was doing it professionally and a Brit, I just knew I had to meet. Essentially after seeing pictures of Hannah’s work, Blacksmith ceramics, I just knew that I needed to see them in real life. And at a ‘Keramik Market’ we finally met!
Hannah’s work is tactile, honest, rustic and simple. There are hints of traditional pottery design with her own signature style. An expression of form and process. Often using the ‘combing’ or ‘fluting’ process in creating texture on the exterior of her pots. This has almost become Hannah’s signature style, that and the rustic quality of smoke firing in select pieces. This combination of modern, tradition, tactile forms make her work instantly inviting. Hannah is a functionalist potter, all of her pieces have a purpose, there’s beauty in that.
Blacksmith ceramics, a little background
Firstly becoming a potter is no easy feat and not one that can be done overnight. Hannah is essentially a self taught potter that has tirelessly been glued to the wheel for the last 4 years. Experience on the wheel is essential and Hannah sure has that dedication.
Earlier experience in the UK began the studio life passion as Hannah worked as an assistant at teaching studio consequently spending time practicing on the wheel. After moving to Copenhagen in 2017 she attended the intense Tortus workshop where she could hone her skills. Soon after Hannah worked as assistant for Tasja Pulawska, an incredible potter based in Nørrebro, Copenhagen. Being a studio assistant is probably one of the best ways in training for your own studio.
Essentially becoming a potter/ceramicist takes time and perseverance. Alongside this Hannah has practised daily at her home studio and 4 years of dedication shows. Her business is thriving and well, she’s pretty damn talented. Not to mention raising three children and keeping her very energetic dog entertained. I‘m absolutely in love with her dog, he’s so entertaining!
What an absolute dream. Hannah lives in what I’d say is my dream home, mid century, Funkis and on the whole, jaw dropping. I came to visit this large home north of Copenhagen, yes to visit Hannah and have a chat but with keen eyes I was drawn to her home studio. What can I say, this place was much like her pottery, raw, honest and incredibly creative. However I’ll wait another day to shoot a home tour. Her work is what we’re here for today.
Shops /Ceramic Galleries
You’ll be able to find Hannah’s work, under her business name Blacksmith ceramics.
Maud & Mabel
A beautifully curated gallery/store in Hampstead, London. available online.
“Working with clay, cloth, and wood, Maud & Mabel feature a carefully curated selection of beautiful everyday objects.”
Curated ceramics shop in Paris. available online
Concept store in Copenhagen.
Selected pieces of Blacksmith ceramics available in store only.
Copenhagen based ceramic gallery, a must visit in the city. pieces available online and in the gallery.
Boutique in France, pieces available in store
Blacksmithceramics.dk web shop coming soon
Restaurant Ark. A casual, plant based, fine dining restaurant in Copenhagen with sustainability at its core. They have chosen Blacksmith ceramics for their entire ceramic serve-ware. Each piece is handmade by Hannah creating a personal, tactile touch to the dining experience.
In fact maybe you’ve spotted her work in a few magazines, I know I’ve seen them as props in shoots for Elle Decoration dk and uk.
In a word, ceramics is a journey. One that needs time and energy in order to develop skill and style. The process of which lends itself to becoming a craft that you live and breathe. So when looking at these pieces, take into account the hours, days, weeks spent making them and subsequently the years of training needed to create such beauty.
Finally follow Hannah’s work