Hanne Haukom: singular ceramics inspired by Norway
By Molly McPharlin | Photos: Hanne Haukom
Norwegian artist Hanne Haukom has been passionate about ceramics since childhood. “At school, there was a room for ceramics and artists came to visit us to teach us how to work with clay. I was fascinated,” she recalls. Years of study followed and today, Haukom is a widely-known and celebrated ceramicist, exhibiting in the Nordics and internationally, in countries as diverse as the United States, Turkey and India.
Haukom’s primary focus is different forms of ceramic jars. Her work is distinctive, inspired by nature and history. “My jars are recognizable and easy to understand. In their form they are human and familial. They belong in the forest and in the sea, in places where it is both warm and cold. I examine the visual qualities of the jar and give each its own story, message and distinctive character,” says Haukom.
Though she is influenced by both Norwegian landscapes and folk art, Haukom explains that her work is universal, and that nature is important to her. “The materials, the techniques and the jars are common cultural heritage. I do find much inspiration in Norway. I grew up in Vinje in Telemark, close to forests and mountains, and I have travelled a lot and had soul-stirring experiences with ancient ceramics of very high quality in several countries,” Haukom says.
Haukom’s artistic style has developed with time, so her most meaningful or memorable pieces are often changing. At the moment, her favourite is Jar for Snow Melting, completed in May 2023. “It was collected this summer by Vestfold and Telemark county council. This work was modelled at a fast pace and was an exercise in working without thinking too much. After it was glazed and fired, I saw the strength and the somewhat helpless charm. I thought I had achieved a good interplay between form and surface. At the same time, I was satisfied with the way it could be linked to nature and the processes surrounding decomposition and the changes in our surroundings,” Haukom muses.
Haukom plans to continue evolving her art and reaching more people who also have an appreciation for the intricacies of ceramic work. “Norway is important to me. I also hope to reach more people outside the country and grow my audience.”
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