Dietlind Wolf is an artist, stylist and creative director based in Hamburg and working primarily on food and interiors stories. She started to make her own ceramics in a friend’s basement when she couldn’t find certain colours and shapes that she envisaged for the stories and scenes she wanted to create in her styling work. The results are edible looking without any food involved and happily, Dietlind continued with this line of work.
It’s easy to spot that she has a talent and eye for colour – both in her editorial work (above) and her beautiful handmade ceramic pieces (below). We asked her to tell us a bit more about both.
How do you make decisions about the colours you use?
“The concious choice starts before shooting a story, during the concept development where I decide which color theme fully serves the story and what makes the objects (food or theme) glow. During shooting there’s a combination of awareness and observation – I follow my hands on a more unconscious level. There is kind of an inner nod, when the colours reflect the intention.”
Do you tend to be drawn to particular colours / types of colours or does it change all the time?
“I am always drawn to let colours glow in their combination.”
“I started making ceramics after I visited the Museum of East Asian Art because I was and still am deeply struck by the colors and shapes of Sung Dynasty ceramics. In the way I work I find a familiar aesthetic in Japanese beauty, the Wabi-Sabi, or Chinese Daoismus the Wuwei. As a longtime prop stylist for food, I think about the material and emotional sense of food combined with plates. So, just like with cooking, I follow my hands and senses and observe. The shape and colours of my plates are driven by the fact that they always have to serve the food.”
You talk about rough ceramics and soft ceramics on your blog – can you explain more about this?
“I like living with contrasts and opposites, in food and life itself. For instance the black, thick stoneware with rough edges combined with the smooth and soft poured colored porcelains. Rough and black as iron, soft and delicate as a peach.”
Do your different genres of work feed into each other?
“Definitely. Without being a prop stylist I would not have had the need for special plates in particular sizes, shapes and colors. As I could not find certain things in shops, I started making them myself, which is also why I produce in such small batches – I need to keep some of the pieces for my own shoots.”
Your pieces feel very soothing. Is this part of your intention?
“It is one of my intentions. I find the process of creating is soothing for me, so maybe this is a reflection.”
What sums up your mood / favourite colours right now?
“To me colours are perceived at a deeper level through their texture and taste, and are about the emotion you get from the material they come in. For the Spring issue of Sweet Paul magazine I made an egg story that I am deeply attached to, which shows the contrast of fragility and yet thickness of eggs. In clothing my favorite colours are green yellows, or yellow greens with gold.”
Can you tell us about upcoming projects or exhibitions.
“The Piet Boon showroom is exhibiting a range of my ceramics at Milan Salone mobile in April. Later in the year, in August / September, a new shape and color range of my ceramics is on show at ABC New York and in September I’m also showing my ceramics at an exhibition in Paris at Gallery 3eparallele – this is in collaboration with Lyndie Dourthe. I’m also working on my first book.”
All images courtesy and © Dietlind Wolf.