Curious about Watz

Small talk

Curious about Watz

It’s early fall, yet the air is still surprisingly soft and balmy this day when we are invited to the studio of BIRGITTA WATZ – a world of ceramics, creativity, and raw beauty.

Curious about Watz
Curious about Watz
Curious about Watz

It’s early fall, yet the air is still surprisingly soft and balmy this day when we are invited to the studio of Birgitta Wats – a world of ceramics, creativity and raw beauty.

Yes, we are curious about Birgitta. Over the years, she has expressed herself through many different materials: glass, clay, paintings, sculptures and textiles to name a few. In addition, Birgitta is also a professor of art and design, with the whole meal in focus. But there is more to Birgitta’s world than just the materials. I can almost feel a sense of something philosophically superior here that is integrated into the materials.

Maybe Birgitta would disagree. I’m not sure. But perhaps the story will tell. My questions will try to find the way , Birgitta is a woman with straight answers but in every sentence there are so many layers of hidden meanings. She even says it so herself. When looking at the croissant in her hand while we are having tea at a large marble table in the middle of a room alive with beautiful things, she suddenly exclaims: ”Look at this! It’s so beautiful in its layering and perfect imperfection. I hate straight lines! If you think about nature. There is no straight line. But man is trying to do everything rectilinear. Because it goes faster maybe. I hate straight lines. I can even go as far, as to think that there is a danger to it. A threat to civilization. We need to look more at nature.”

We talk about Birgitta’s life, her childhood and becoming who she is.

”I learned early on from my grandmother who had as much crockery as possible at home that it should be beautiful when eating”, she says. ”I will never forget my grandmother’s coffee parties for the housewives’ association back home in Odensala. I had to help her set the table. So in the middle of the salon we built up a scenario with linen tablecloths and old wine boxes from the cellar. It was cakes, pies and buns and it was so beautiful. I really learned that you should feel good about the things you have around you.”



Curious about Watz

Birgitta is also a poetry writer. The existential questions shine through in her texts.

Curious about Watz

Plates and bowls, by Birgitta Watz.

Curious about Watz
Curious about Watz
Curious about Watz

This time

it is

the hot bowl

filled with fragrant mashed potatoes

which vibrates forward

the line

in my heart

the voices

it belongs to the mystery

We call life

From Birgitta’s book ‘Body Poetry’ (freely translated)

Curious about Watz

keep the pot boiling

the flame burning

the embers alive

From Birgitta’s book ‘Body Poetry’ (freely translated)

Curious about Watz
Curious about Watz

This makes me ask Birgitta who she was as a child and her response comes just as spontaneously as immediately: ”Curious. I was a curious child. And I have never stopped being that. I think I was encouraged in my curiosity early on in life and that has helped me. Also, this perception that women and men have different conditions, I have never understood that. I have always just assumed that I can do anything I want to do.”

”So what do you enjoy mostly when creating?” I ask Birgitta.

She smiles while answering. ”I always like what I do at the moment best. It’s fun to see how you can put together a whole set of details. That is, you can create an atmosphere for the meal. And that is probably also why I later on got a professorship in meal knowledge with a focus on art and design. But before that I also worked as head of Graphic Design at Konstfack. I have worked at all sorts of different companies with design projects. Done so many different things, and I think I’ve enjoyed them all.”

”Where do you find your inspiration?”

Her gaze is squinting when she answers me. As if she has a secret wisdom lurking behind those eyes. ”I have a long established inspired life! I believe you carry that inspiration within you. It’s like a river, life.”

At this moment – inspired by the thought of life as a river, I take the opportunity to ask Birgitta when she is at her happiest and now she frowns for the first time during our meeting.

”I don’t even think that way at all. What is happiness? I need a synonym. Like when the children swore when they were little. Then I asked them for a synonym thank you!” she laughs. ”Maybe we could say satisfied. And how content I feel, I think depends a lot on oneself. That’s inside. As long as I am curious about myself and life, I feel satisfied.”

What strikes me the most in our conversation, is that Birgitta seems so obvious in her person. She does not linger or hesitate on any questions. So I have to ask her, ”What are you afraid of?”

She asks back at once. ”What are you afraid of?”

The question surprises me a little, and of course, I linger and hesitate… ”Maybe I’m mostly afraid of the fear”, I finally answer. (And yes, with a strong sense of uncertainty in my voice.)

She nods her head. “That’s a good answer. You know what, I think you have to have confidence in life. You can of course be afraid of everything possible. But I think you have to become friends with what you are afraid of, and then you have to try not to have time to be afraid. Curiosity! That’s the best secret.”

I can’t help but wonder that this might be the answer to most things in Birgitta’s life. The essence of her state of mind. Curiosity.

Before we go, I ask her a ”behind the scenes question”; ”You look amazing, how do you do it?!” (I mean after all, my god, she’s 83 years old.)

Her answer: “Well you know – I’m curious!”☮

Curious about Watz
Published May 2, 2021

Ulla · 7 months ago
Tack för en så inspirerande och härlig intervju. Birgitta är en injektionsspruta hela hon, så mycket livsvisdom och glädje över allt livet ger bara vi öppnar ögonen och är nyfikna.