TEXT: MARTE EIDE | PHOTOS © BRITT BAKKEN KERAMIKK & TUVA REBOLI BAKKEN
For years, Britt Bakken dreamed of making a living working with ceramics. Now, she participates in arts and crafts fairs across Norway under the trade name Britt Bakken Keramikk, and has been awarded prizes for her design, influenced by Valdres.
Born and raised in Valdres, Bakken has a lifelong attachment to its culture and heritage. “It is important for me that these elements are reflected in my work,” she says. A popular symbol is the carved rose hex symbol in white, adorning red barns all across Valdres. “I also made clay impressions from my daughter’s bunad, which I had embroidered by hand myself. My grandmother had the same one and it makes me remember her and the tradition,” Bakken explains.
Britt Bakken Keramikk’s most popular items are ceramics with the traditional waffle symbol, a cultural heritage which all of Norway is fond of. “My clay impressions are from a waffle iron where the hearts have different patterns, another influence from my grandmother,” says Bakken, who dreams of making a full-time living out of her business. “Now I am working on my ceramics 50 per cent of the time, but my dream is to do it all the time,” she says.
Two years ago, she sold the cattle at the family farm and has since adjusted to having more freedom. With a degree in product design and with ceramics as the major subject area, Bakken knew that being more creative was something she longed for. “Life takes time! Despite the challenges there is something in me that wants to keep going and try my best to succeed”.