Everything started from a piece of clay. When Beatrice De Franceschi rediscovered her passion for pottery during lockdown, she knew the practice would have accompanied her to find calm and peace of mind for the time being. Little did she know that a few years later her creative research would become a business under the name of Studio Kefi.
Beatrice founded Studio Kefi in Copenhagen, where she's currently based and where she finds the support of a local community of potters and creatives alike. She wanted the name of her brand to reflect the way she feels when working with clay, thus Kefi was chosen. The Greek term translates as the spirit of joy, euphoria, passion and enthusiasm. It’s the emotion of completely letting go in the moment, realising self-consciousness and allowing yourself to feel life vibrating through your body and soul. Studio Kefi was born from the love for a slow pace life and colours and textures of the earth.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourselves and how your interest in pottery began?
I’m an Italian photographer and stylist currently living in Copenhagen. I have been working as photographer and interior designer for a danish brand for the past four years. When COVID hit and we were all forced to stay at home for entire days, I decided to buy a pack of clay and spend my evenings creating something special. After ten years – I worked with clay during high school in Italy –, I rediscover how pottery makes me feel in peace with myself and distracts me from the busy daily life. This is how my passion for pottery began. From that day on I haven't spent one day without working with clay and going to the studio.
How do you get inspired to create your projects? Coming from Italy, I draw inspiration from earthy textures and colours of the mediterranean countries and cultures. At the same time I always admired the Scandinavian character and versatility of the products and this is the reason why I’m working on creating a deep connection between the two realities. My inspiration comes mainly from the earth. When I walk around, especially when I’m traveling, I always get caught from the diversity of the natural elements like stones, earth, flowers and I try to capture the essence ad bring it with me.
What are you working on in this period? At the moment I have two amazing projects coming up. I have started to design 30 cups that a friend of mine will be using at his new café in the centre of Copenhagen. We decided to use a mixed grey and white clay and leave the outside of the cup unglazed. I really like leaving the material as natural as possible so this is why I always suggest to leave it unglazed. The second project is with Gubi, one of the biggest Danish interior design brand. I will be working on twelve different pieces to decorate four of their Vitrine designed by Space Copenhagen in their beautiful showroom in Nordhavn. I’m very excited about this.
What is your favourite part of your practice? My favorite part when I create a piece is the beginning. I love getting ready in the early morning, wedging some clay and prepare my throwing wheel with all the tools I need. Most of the time when I sit down I don’t have much of a plan, I like making unique pieces that are not reproducible in series. I like the idea that I make one and only one piece and people can receive something esclusive. I put my headphones on, prepare a cup of coffee and listen to some calm music that inspires me during the process.
What would you say to someone who is starting out in the field? When I started two years ago, I must say it was quite frustrating at the beginning. There is an enormous world to learn about pottery and I am probably still at the start myself. You fail, many times, you are disappointed by yourself because that day it just doesn’t work. You need to leave the stressful thoughts outside the door if you want to succeed. It’s all about being in peace with yourself and collaborate with the clay not working against it. You might be let down many times, but at the same time ceramics can give you so much joy and sometimes from your mistakes you learn new things that might become part of your identity. If you really feel this world is for you, just keep going because there’s no better feeling than opening that kiln and discover the beauty of your unique pieces.
Discover more about Beatrice's work on her account @studiokefi_