I first encountered Anette and Trine, better known as ARTTILES, when I was looking for brands for our Love Local section about a year ago. Many people actually don’t know, that the tiles is made in Vesterbro and hand printed, glazed and burnt right there. In the middle of Copenhagen. They are both extremely creative, but also very Danish. Not in a bad way of course. But we all have a tendency to almost apologizing for our success. Coming back from Los Angeles, we have a lot to learn about being loud and proud about our success and the work we do. Anette and Trine are taking baby steps, and when I ask them, but aren’t you proud of what you have archived? They say, hell yeah we are proud!
What is your background and what are you doing today?
We both have a background in visual art, which was also why we met in the first place, as we were part of the same atelier. Way back, Anette worked in the media business and Trine live in Portugal for many years, where she did a lot of interior decorating. This was also were the love for tiles emerged. In many of the old cities, you find a lot of beautiful old buildings full of tiles, and they all tell a cock-and-bull story. Something we really like.
Today we make art on ceramic tiles, known as ARTTILES. One might say, that the love for ceramics came creeping the past years.
What do you love most about your work?
To experiment! To open the oven for the first time after we have play and experimented with a new print or colour combination. It is almost like Christmas Eve every time.
To laugh out loud! We generally have a lot of bad workshop humour going and we laugh every day. Self-irony is actually a huge part of our creative process and a lot of our work comes from a sarcastic comment about each other or ourselves. From time to time, we do have to edit though!
What is the first thing you think about Monday morning?
Coffee. And the fact that we cannot wait to start working and open Birger (our oven)…
What is your craziest experience in your career?
The day when we realized that people really wanted to buy our tiles! You walk around in your own little pseudo world and then suddenly someone else seemed to understand what we were doing.
About a year ago, we actually had to turn down for additional orders, as we realized that we could not keep up with production without compromising our level of standard. This was truly a overwhelming, positive and CRAZY luxury situation to be in.
What is you next project?
We are those people who always need something new to work on to survive. Our employees often joke that is it kind of a mess when we have clients in, as we always have something laid out on the floor that you cannot step on.
Oh. And the other day we was contacted by an undertaker, who wanted us to make tiles for tombstones. “Personal art for you tombstone”. We are excited to see where this will take us.
Other than that we have been working on a photo project for quite a while now, a project we really enjoy. In short, we have started to rescue old black & white photos, which later will be turned into a ceramic portrait art installation. We often find ourselves walking around flee markets, looking at these old photos, thinking; who throws out their family photos like that? Then they just lie there looking up at everyone in a one-dollar basket for everyone to buy and we just cannot stop thinking about who these people are and where they come from. So we began collecting them, hanging them on a wall in our atelier, where we now create stories and characteristic for them all. At this point we have collected a small fun family.
You work is somewhere between art and design – what is more important for you?
The art. But then again, it depends on how you interpret the two. For us art is the uncompromising presentation of the world, something we couldn’t live without. It is through our art that we express ourselves and interpret our everyday life. It is through art we vent our feelings and ideas, covering our need for beauty and a ironic distance to life. So without art we wouldn’t have the approach to design that we have. We love design and the expression – and we both love interior design. But art is firmly anchored in our meaning, something we find very hard to explain.
What do you dream about career wise?
We often talk and dream about how cool it would be to decorate a hotel, where each room who tell a different story. We love ”rooms” both small and big and we are pretty good at creating the right kind of mood within.