IN ARTIST ÅSA STENERHAGS STUDIO,
MATERIAL EXPLORATIONS TAKES CENTRE STAGE
ART & CRAFT
Åsa Stenerhag has worked as a design director at Filippa K and Totême, and throughout the years she has nurtured many collaborations with the fashion world. She has now decided to focus on her own art work, exploring and working with paper, clay and glass. She shares her studio with her friend, the acclaimed fashion photographer Julia Hetta, as well as New Blood Agency.
T–N–E Where do you work?
Å.S ”In my studio in Vasastan in Stockholm, where I’ve mainly been focusing on clay. I use my sketchbook all the time. When I least expect it, something pops up. It’s a kind of emotional impression of things that later comes to life in the studio.”
See more of Åsa Stenerhags work in the first issue of The New Era Magazine, where we visit her home. T-N-E is available for purchase here
Jonna Dagligen Hunt
T–N–E What’s important to you in your place of work?
Å.S ”I like keeping it fairly orderly. I’ve come to understand that I like simplicity even if I’m surrounded by things. I collect things I’ll use. But I also like the mindset of thinking ‘you’re going to work with these two materials. End of story.”
T–N–E What kind of materials are you drawn to?
Å.S ”Right now I’m all about the ceramics. I wanted to go in a new direction and had an urge to create something three-dimensional. The whole process of working with clay is amazing. You have to be present all the time. Glass is also a fascinating material. It’s heavy, hot and quick, compared to clay which is slower. But Im drawn to paper and textiles too. It’s all connected somehow.”
”Right now I’m all about the ceramics. I wanted to go in a new direction and had an urge to create something three-dimensional. The whole process of working with clay is amazing. You have to be present all the time.”
T–N–E How does it feel to exhibit your work?
Å.S ”It took me a long time before I even dared to show my work to friends and collegues. I kept it to myself for ages. It’s great to work with a certain framework which can kickstart the creative process. I’m gradually getting used to it. Previously, I’ve had to take care of that aspect myself."
T–N–E What was your last exhibition?
Å.S ”I have recently collaborated with furniture producer Massproductions on two exhibitions, one of them was called Alien Autopsy, Massproduction had created a table inspired by NASA’s Apollo Lunar Module which I interpreted in 30 sculptures. An exploration of life forces of sorts, and a curiosity about the inner and outer world.”
T–N–E You have worked in fashion for many years now. Looking back at your four years at Totême and the look you helped to create there, how would you describe your work or sense of style as a fashion designer?
Å.S “I have always been drawn to and strive for simplicity in what I do. That said, it is important to create a dynamic so it doesn’t get boring, and to work with contrasts. It has been incredibly fun and edifying to work with the shape of the garments and the look for Totême – to stretch the boundaries in a material and in the volume, and to work out a clean design language and style rather than creating fast fashion. Outerwear has always been a favourite of mine. They set the tone for the entire collection."
T–N–E You have collaborated with a number of other fashion brands and artists – can you tell us about that?
Å.S “I have continued to work with Filippa K and the porcelain brand Rörstrand on a project we initiated in 2003, creating illustrations for a seasonal collection of cups and bowls, and I collaborated with Jil Sander’s Spring 2020 menswear collection, which resulted in artworks on various garments. I recently created 100 unique packaging illustrations for Tangent GC. I love the dynamics
of these different types of collaboration.”