Once upon a time two Norwegian designers had a vision to create a beautiful and inviting universe inspired by Scandinavian nature and mythology. Read about the Norwegian crockery by Wik & Walsø inspired by myths from the deepest forests.
Way back in time when Ragnhild Wik and Linda Svedal Watsøe met at Esmond fashion school in Oslo in the early 1990s, they talked about starting something of their own, and finding a niche industry in Norwegian design. Over the years, however, they were swallowed up by the design industry and their careers. It was just a dream.
Until 2006, when Wik and Watsøe left their secure jobs in the design industry and set up their own company, rooted in Norwegian nature and culture in two disused barracks in the old town in Fredrikstad. The design duo has not looked back since.
According to the designers, they have always been fascinated by the natural, and the goal was to design handmade objects with a unique and natural expression. They wanted simple shapes and softly shaped curves with different textures and hand-painted brushstrokes in sober, metallic colors. The contrasts between glazed and matte surfaces add a unique and interesting complexity to the discreet design.
In a short time Wik and Watsøe established a strong, clear and quality-conscious voice in Nordic design. Wik & Watsøe has become a major brand in the Norwegian market and in the Nordic design industry.
Related: 365 Daily Norwegian Wooden Spoons
Today, their Elf porcelain stands side by side with well-known brands such as Stelton, Wedgwood and Rosenthal at over 150 outlets in Norway. The designers wanted to create tableware to last a lifetime, and with features that would be easily recognized across the globe. They have succeeded in crating a romantic crockery brand which has made cups and plates fashionable across the Nordic countries.
«We work with pure and natural materials, and lead-free colors, and have chosen to work closely with skilled craftsmen, both in Europe and Asia – artisans who share our values and passion,” writes the duo on their website and continues:
“None of our products should cost more than NOK 1,000. Much of Norwegian design is unique art and can cost up to ten thousand for a vase. Another criterion we set was that what we make should have an aid dimension, and production was started in Bangladesh. Not everyone can do as Doctors Without Borders, and we believe in helping by creating jobs and professional development.
A third point was that the products should be functional. Everything must be washable in the dishwasher, and the vases must have a shape that allows them to be washed well and not become foul-smelling. The handles should have room for a man’s fist. That is why we test the products all the time at home.
Finally, the design and products should have an anchorage in Norwegian nature. It is an inexhaustible source.”
Wik & Walsøe’s efforts to bring Norwegian design to the world have not gone unnoticed, with mentions in the Times Magazine and Wallpaper as well as others. Today, the brand designs are sold all over Norway as well as internationally.
Norwegian Crockery Inspired By Myths From the Deepest Forests, written by Tor Kjolberg
All images © Wik & walsoe