Growing up you were surrounded by the avant-guarde CoBrA artists. You must have been aware of many mediums - why ceramics?
I think I was born with clay in my hands beside a big bonfire. As far back as I remember I have been playing with earth, fire and water. I drew, painted, weaved and knitted as a child too. Clay and paint was the best. At thirteen the school took us on a trip to a pottery factory where I saw five men throw a big vase on a kick wheel – and when I came home I pleaded to go to pottery classes and to get a wheel. The only praise I ever got in school was when I made a pinch bowl - so I left a year later and went to learn and work at a ceramic studio. I am still as passionate about the possibilities of clay and fire as ever. Nothing has stopped me painting either.
Your knowledge of glazes, clay and the firing point of rocks is impressive; and so is your creative imagination. What comes first: the skill of ceramics or your muse, one of which I assume is nature?
Always the Muse - nature - comes first. The skill helps me play even better - although at times skill gets in the way as I mostly jump into the depth of the unknown where I feel like a beginner - forgetting about previous knowledge.
I guess the knowledge will still be somewhere in the unconscious. I always try new things - it brings excitement and failures as well as good work. Failures take me to new horizons.
There appear to be influences which lie beyond Scotland, Denmark and ceramics. What artists are your greatest inspiration?
As nature, Mother Earth, is my main influence - any artist, be it a ceramicist, painter, writer or musician has an influence. It is hard to single just one artist out. It also changes as you get on in life. Asger Jorn and the CoBrA artists have had the biggest impact on me. From thirteen it was the Neolithic stone age and folk art, Marc Chagall, Emil Nolde and Edward Munch, also Outsider Art. Then I discovered Hundertwasser and Gaudi. Of contemporary artists David Nash, Anslem Kiefer, Gerhard Richter are inspiring artists that spring to mind, but the list is endless.