I took my first ceramics class a very long time ago. Mystical and suggestive, at the time it was a bit too much for my 10-year-old body. But a seed was definitely planted within me—the satisfying feeling of working with my hands, the close feel of a material, and especially the handmade crafting of a story.
I ended up with a Master of Fine Art in Art Jewelry
, showing my jewelry and handmade stories
at the most prestigious galleries around the world. All was good, but after ten odd years I began to feel boxed in. But I continued to hone my sense of detail and storytelling as a Costume- and Set Designer for film, theatre, and commercials. Still stories made by hand but another scale and another context. With a discerning eye and appreciation of creative processes, I was soon involved in some very interesting projects and collaborations, including award winning feature films like Play
, Force Majeur
, and Jätten
and the performance theatre trilogy Conte d’Amour
, and Bis Zum Tod
. These were also good years, and successful ones. I won a Swedish Guldbagge award for best makeup/hair
and was also nominated for best costume design
. The productions competed and won awards both nationally
and in places like the Cannes film festival
, the Sundance Film festival
and the festival d'Avignon
. But after another ten years it was again time for change.
This time I really needed to get back to basics—to meaningful work resonating with my heart and guided by my hands. Finding this turned out to be surprisingly simple. It was all there in the tactile sensation of my fingertips against damp clay, in the breathtaking experience of making real things for everyday use, and in the intuitive nature of the process itself. Matter as material and matter as meaning. These are the most important elements of my creative process, and this has become Matter Matter Studio. Søren Kierkegaard famously said that life must be lived forwards, but can only be understood backwards. I feel as if everything I have experienced and done until now was just preparation for putting my hands in the clay. In my work, I never aim for perfection as we usually think of it. My process is very playful, experimental, and open. It is a collaboration between myself, the materials, the serendipitous nature of the process, my immediate surroundings, and the universe as a whole. In my pieces you will therefore find traces of my presence, my hands, as well as the surroundings where I live, work and breathe. As with all things living, each piece looks different with small imperfections and individual variations.
Why more ceramics?
We don't need more stuff or more things. But I believe we need to think about what we bring into our lives. What we surround ourselves with. What things end up becoming part of everyday living. I make my ceramics with a lot of presence, devotion, and joy. I think these qualities are nice to put on your dining table, every day!
What I offer?
I really enjoy making custom ceramics for restaurants. It can be for a specific dish, for part of a menu, or a complete set of tableware. Honed during my time as costume- and set designer, I have become very good at noticing and accentuating subtle nuances that bring out the essence of a place or situation. I still love doing this. When working with restauranteurs, I inevitably get strong feelings and clear ideas for how their overall visions can be nuanced and given concrete meaning—how the whole experience of dining can be intensified.
Matter Matter Studio was founded in Floda, Sweden, in 2019 by Pia Aleborg.