Rønne’s cobblestone-paved Lille Madsegade is the site of Klodekær, a shop selling pottery and ceramics from a wide variety of Bornholm’s ceramists. Although only a few streets away from Rønne’s busy, picturesque squares, it is still possible to get a sense of the quiet and calm of this street, lined with several former church buildings, a former convent and a merchant’s house. This spot also invites you to relax and enjoy the sunshine on one of the nice, rustic wooden benches in front of the shop. The underlying shop concept is to highlight locally produced goods and help support a sustainable local community. At the same time, Ditte Marie, Klodekær’s owner, wants her shop to give customers an informal, relaxed encounter with a wide selection of the many highly skilled ceramists who live and work on the island. Her shop includes passion-imbued products from up-and-coming talents and refined, well-established collections of ceramists who have been studying and working with clay over the course of a long career. The presentation of the ceramics is essentially grounded in a sensory experience. Through a physical encounter with the natural materials of clay, wood and leather represented in the shop, Ditte Marie wants to awaken an emotional connection between human beings and nature, thereby supporting our care for and love of the world we live in.
Upon entering the meticulously rebuilt old garage, you are met by wonderfully white, peaceful light playing out across the whitewashed walls of Klodekær. The many hues, shapes and colours of the ceramics on the shelves (made of untreated planks from Bornholm’s biggest forest Almindingen), arouse an inner sensuality, intimacy and immediacy of contact with natural materials. In Klodekær, a sensual experience is vital for communicating the diversity of styles inherent in the ceramic products.
Ditte Marie, Klodekær’s owner, gives priority to evoking an experience of intimacy and memory by stimulating our sensory impressions. Holding a cup made of clay, dug up from Bornholm’s soil and carefully turned by a ceramist, our senses are stimulated as our hands connect with the material. Our thoughts are aroused and bodily sensations are awakened. This is exemplified by how the transition from mint-green glaze to untreated clay evokes memories of a sunny day by the sea or a quiet morning with a cup of coffee. Ditte Marie believes we can create space for such memories and moods by heightening our awareness of our physical surroundings and the objects we place in them.
Another element Ditte Marie seeks to highlight in Klodekær is our care for and love of our surroundings, both our physical surroundings and the people in our lives. She believes we can change the world by caring for our immediate environment in all its forms. This involves creating a space where people can meet for informal conversations and visiting, and it involves picking up litter in the street as you pass by. That is caring about the street and the people in our community, and thus our immediate environment and, in a wider perspective, the beautiful world we share, as Ditte Marie puts it. This is also why Klodekær organises monthly litter-collection events in the neighbourhood for anyone who is interested, and a weekly afternoon coffee session where everyone is welcome to bring along a neighbour or friend or their knitting and enjoy a cup of coffee in the afternoon sun on the benches in front of the shop.
An encounter with Klodekær merges a passion for natural materials with intimacy, craftsmanship and beauty. The various ceramists’ styles gain new perspectives when juxtaposed with others, with local wood products, with sheepskin from sheep that have grazed on Bornholm, and with the local environment – all of which contribute to making Klodekær what it is.