Founder and ceramic artist
Stine is the founder, designer, maker, and creative mind of SkandiHus. If you walked into our studio on any given day, Stine could be found doing pretty much anything, from designing new work, to making pieces for a commission, to doing our accounts, putting up shelves, or chatting with her team. She is involved in every aspect of the business, and works closely with her team to ensure that the integrity and identity of SkandiHus is maintained in all that we do.
Stine teaches the Wednesday evening class at our De Beauvoir studio and the occasional Tasters and private events. Her approach to teaching is both structured and playful. She strongly believes that working with clay facilitates a reconnection between our hands, heart and brain and that when we start reconnecting with ourselves, we automatically begin to reconnect with the world around us, including with nature and other people. She thinks that one of the main things causing so much pain in the world at the moment, is the way we have all becomes so disconnected from nature, from each other and worst of all, from ourselves.
Ania is the Studio Manager at SkandiHus, and keeps an eye on the daily running of the SkandiHus studios. She is most likely the person responding to your emails, sending you your class welcome pack, and chatting to you on our studio phone, most of which she does whilst hanging out in our studio hanging chair and cracking pertinent jokes that make us all laugh.
Ania makes her own work in her studio in East London and her love of ceramics comes from a need to create, but to not needlessly produce more objects just for their aesthetic value. The priority for Ania in her own work is for function to inform style, and her pots are most importantly created to be used. Ania hopes that she helps to encourage others to adopt this philosophy in their everyday life, and that by introducing more people to the world of ceramics, it will encourage a deeper appreciation for handmade objects and a more thoughtful approach to buying.
Linda Barck been working with Stine at SkandiHus for four years, and teaches our Monday and Tuesday evening classes at the de Beauvoir studio, and our Thursday morning class at Hackney Downs. She is a master maker and a skilled and attentive teacher. Linda is also the longest running member of the SkandiHus team asides from Stine, and we couldn’t imagine the studio without her!
Linda is originally from Sweden and she obtained an MA in Ceramics and Glass from the Royal College of Art (2006-08) and a First Class Honors, BA(hons) from Camberwell College of Art (2002-05). Linda's own ceramic work lies more in the sculptural sphere than the functional one, but she is a dab hand at teaching both. It’s not uncommon for her to get standing ovations at the end of her classes. Before moving to London, Linda was an apprentice to the Icelandic potter, Helgi Björgvinson, in Gothenburg.
Studio Assistant and Teacher
Chris Pavlov is a studio assistant at SkandiHus, and also teaches the Thursday evening class at de Beauvoir. Chris specialises in wheel throwing, glaze technology, and asking the kinds of questions that leave you pondering your own existence.
Day to day, Chris is based in Birmingham where he has a studio. His background in design greatly influences his teaching technique as he approaches every class with a great deal of care and consideration, and hopes for his students to make beautiful work, but also to learn a thoughtful and considered approach to ceramics that moves beyond the act of making to consider the wider impact of the craft.
‘Craft is my means of navigating the world, a way of life, a source of meaning. My practice focuses on marrying aesthetically pleasing forms with clearly defined functionality. I used to think that it was the element of solitude that drew me to the process of making with clay but I've come to realise that, in fact, it's the safe space you can create for yourself and other people to have a conversation in’.
STUDIO ASSISTANT AND TEACHER
Karina Smagulova is our in-house glaze mixer, plate maker, and resident ray of sunshine; two hours in her company and you will leave feeling calmer and lighter than you have in a long time. She teaches the Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon classes at our de Beauvoir studio.
Karina was born in Greece to Russian parents. After studying Architecture, she moved to London where she discovered her love of ceramics, and now works with clay full time. She works from her communal studio in East London, where she makes and sells under the name of Leu Ceramics. Although her work is inspired by minimalist aesthetics, Karina's students work in a wide variety of styles, and she encourages them first and foremost to be unique.
A former student said: “Our teacher, Karina, has been the most wonderful and patient with her students. The 12 week course covers a lot of the knowledge and skills (both hand building and throwing on a potter’s wheel) you would need to work independently in a communal studio. Through practice with the right guidance from our teacher, you can really see a lot of improvement in a few months”.
Studio Assistant and Teacher
Justin Page is a studio assistant and production thrower at SkandiHus, and now teaches the Monday and Tuesday evening courses at Hackney Downs. He is excited about the prospect of helping others experience both the excitement and grounding that creating with clay can bring. His teaching style is kind, patient and thoughtful.
Justin studied Fine Art Printmaking in South Africa, but the clay bug took hold of him after he completed a B-Tech in Ceramic Design at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth. He moved to London around the millennium but became side-tracked by a career in the wine industry. Over the last two years, he has re-discovered his love of clay and has become fully committed to working as a potter again. He now produces his own work in his Peckham studio and is a member of the makers collective ‘Clay Habitat’.
Justin’s work is mostly wheel thrown functional ware, with the addition of slab-built elements. He is influenced by the urban and industrial landscape which can be seen in the forms, colours and textures of his work.
JUNIOR Studio Assistant, Mentor and Teacher
Deej is a Junior Studio Assistant and teacher at SkandiHus and quietly keeps everything running smoothly behind the scenes at our N1 studio. Deej’s classes are always light, bright, and full of creativity! Her approach to teaching is patient, attentive and kind. She is a dab hand at making everyone feel comfortable under her expert guidance.
Deej is originally from Manchester and having been told at school the clay and kiln were only for "serious artists"*, she only had her first ceramics making experience while living and working in Japan years later. She was instantly drawn to the relaxed, therapeutic nature of working with clay, and has been making regularly since completing her master's degree in Japanese Studies. She enjoys experimenting with new forms and colours, and has been particularly inspired by the seascapes seen in her holidays around Japan and New Zealand. She encourages her students to learn by experimenting, instead of overthinking their designs.
*she obviously now knows how silly this statement is. Pottery is for everyone!
Kelly originally started as a student many years ago in Stine’s classes and feels privileged to now be able to pass on her skills to other budding makers. She finds a real joy in seeing students bring their first ever pieces to life, and working in ceramics is her way of spreading that happiness.
Kelly makes her own work in North London where she is based. She has always loved making, but had never found 'the one' craft that resonated. After making with clay for the first time, Kelly knew that she'd found it. Kelly’s love of ceramics is born out of a desire to make the 'everyday' something beautiful, making pieces that make daily routines a bit more special. Imperfection is something that Kelly embraces, in both her own work and that of her students. She loves simplicity and timelessness within designs and tries to encompass those ideals.
JUNIOR STUDIO ASSISTANT
Bella is a Junior Studio Assistant at SkandiHus, and loves getting messy, especially when working her way through our giant pile of reclaimed clay. She is a key part of the team in keeping the show running, and does everything from loading kilns to building studio furniture and keeping us all entertained with her spellbinding story telling skills.
Bella studied Product Design at UCA Farnham, before transferring to the Ceramics department where she felt much more at home. She specialises in large scale, abstract extruded sculptures, with the purpose of challenging people’s perceptions of traditional seating. She also enjoys making aesthetically pleasing functional tableware, and hanging out with our studio dog Alfie.
Karine is a SkandiHus teacher and an artist originally from France. She completed her professional training in Paris where she founded her own ceramics studio and developed workshops, classes and events, before moving to London three years ago. Karine loves to create a passionate community around clay, and continues this energy in her classes and workshops at SkandiHus. She says of making:
‘With clay, there is no end of things to learn. It is a tactile material that responds directly to your hands. I love to reinvent, experiment, and leave things to chance through trial and error. As a teacher, I try to communicate these values to my students’.
mr alfie perkins
branch manager, barking
Alfie Perkins (also answers to Alfredo, Alfonso or Mr P) is the heart of the SkandiHus family. His key responsibilities are finding sticks, fetching sticks, and eating Chris’ lunch. It’s a hard job, with long hours of staring out the window and a lot of one-to-ones in the park, but we can’t imagine a better dog for the job.