Hanna Salomonsson

London, UK

FIVE YEARS AGO, Hanna Salomonsson was gifted an evening class at Turning Earth Ceramics which kickstarted her ceramics journey. Having loved the experience so much, Hanna was captivated by the craft, choosing to study it further and eventually leave her full-time job to commit to it full time.
Growing up in Småland in southern Sweden, Hanna was brought up in a nature-inspired culture with a strong storytelling tradition. Nature came alive in the form of folktales and myths. This inspired Hanna to name her studio practice, Oknytt Ceramics, after the ‘oknytt’, ethereal creatures that were said to reside in the wild forests of her youth. 

Other than the Nordic wilderness, Hanna also incorporates bits of her life in London. This includes the textures of urban decay, with the derelict, crumbling red brick finding its way into her pieces. She credits her landscape architecture background with informing her way of looking at nature with a cultural overlay. 

“Just as people speak about the sea in the UK, people in Scandinavia talk about the northern lights and the forests. 
Landscapes are not just geological; people tend to project their own experiences and memories.”

I love the contrasting textures in Hanna's ceramic pieces. The grogged stoneware clay is reminiscent of gnarly branches and the deep water of bottomless lakes, and it is juxtaposed with calm, blue green glazes that easily enchant the eye. It almost feels like a piece of another world.
More than just functional bowls and platters, Hanna’s pottery has a lovely sculptural quality to them. She admits to leaving her work slightly ambiguous: “It’s fascinating to see how people can read their own meaning into my works.” 


Speaking about her art process, Hanna describes how her high fired stoneware pieces are formed from thick slabs, which she then carves or stamps into using texture tools from found or repurposed objects. In creating ceramics that are both sculptural and functional, Hanna again credits her landscape architecture training as beneficial when she has to consider both form and function.
What I love most about her pieces is the visual and tactile element to her art. It reflects a child-like fascination with the folklore of her upbringing, and invites us to let our mind wander beyond our everyday circumstances. 

Hanna Salomonsson / Oknytt Ceramics

Visited May 2022, published October 2022.