Ine Vik

Small talk

Ine Vik

She is one of those souls who can convince you of anything. Enter the world of biologist, writer and potter INE VIK – a world of winter swimming, silent mornings and urban scavenging. Thanks for the talk, Ine!

Ine Vik
Ine Vik

Good morning Ine! How are you?

– Good morning! I am well, thank you. Excited about the new season!

Are you a morning person?

– I mean, yeah. Or usually, anyway. I like to uselessly roll around on my yoga mat, sit in silence, read a little or bike down to the fjord for a sauna session and a swim. Especially in the winter: I cannot imagine any better scent than the mix of wood firing stoves and saltwater. But let´s not forget, there are many mornings where I just rush out of the door.

A morning person if I ever met one. And who are you, apart from that?

– My name is Ine, and I work as a science writer and potter maker. I mainly write about biology and agriculture, and my interest in the natural sciences eventually led me to pottery. I make small batch pottery: mostly bowls and simple shapes, and I like to include local materials to my work. I spend a lot of time scavenging for wild clay … and when I am not doing any of those things, I guess I swim in the sea.

Well, that sounds like the good life. I am only guessing, but I think most people get into ceramics because they want to work with their hands or have an interest in art and objects. But you say that you started out because of an interest in science.

– Yes, but also no. I was introduced to ceramics at a young age by my uncle, who is a ceramic artist. I have always been very inspired by him and my painter aunt. As a kid I loved drawing, and I was interested in classical art. Like, I remember obsessing about late gothic painting. And then if I am being honest, in my teens the interest evolved into pretentiousness and an exaggerated interest for all things old. Then my head cleared, and as an adult I am much less dogmatic. I am still drawn to old objects though, and I find a lot of inspiration in ancient pottery. But yes, I was digging in the dirt in the university garden one day and I found some clay. That was the catalyst I needed to try my hand at pottery.

Ine Vik
Ine Vik
Ine Vik

I see! And you still use local materials. Why is that important to you?

– Using local materials does add more variables to the process, and that´s exciting. I like to experiment and go for walks and look for things. Also, the local materials add a tangible connection between the objects and the landscape around me.

What are your main inspirations in your work?

– Everything and everyone, but I always come back to ancient Korean pottery, English and Dutch slipware and Hellenistic bronze age pottery.

We must talk about your lovely flat. What is your interior style?

– Thank you! I am unsure if my style has a common thread. But my dream home is a mix of an old monastery: old wood and stone and incense – and a cabin by the sea. I like simplicity and functionality and sturdy materials.

You have written that monasteries are an inspiration to you, both esthetically and spiritually. Tell me more!

– I have always been interested in monasteries. Old European monasteries often have a pottery, I suppose because the monastery is like a small village, offering many uses and places for pots. I once read a quote from a monk, he said that he could feel the rhythm and scale of life lived according to the order of the monastery reflected in the pottery. Once I visited the Taizé community in Bourgogne. It is a monastery, but also a place where people come to work in a community, to sing or sit in silence. They also have a large pottery workshop. Even if I don´t consider myself religious, my mind often wanders back to Taizé. I like the idea of a place where you come to contemplate – whether you do it by digging in the ground or singing to the sky.


Ine Vik
Ine Vik
Ine Vik

And the architecture and objects in such places are often subdued but very refined at the same time, I think.

– Indeed. And some rooms might be visually simplistic, but the texture of the materials, the scents and the vesper songs speak to other senses instead.

Speaking of objects, what are your favorite objects that you own?

– Ceramic bowls made by my uncle, Knut Natvik. A large jar, made by the Greek ceramic artist Melina Xenaki. And our dining chairs, which my boyfriend labeled “high German protestant church chairs” and I completely agree.

And a favorite place?

– The coast of any ocean, or maybe the forest on a snowy winter day.

What not to miss when visiting Oslo?

– The fjord saunas! And the same as the above, the forest in the winter.

Thanks for the tip! I was surprised when I discovered how close the forest is to the city. Well, before I go, five short questions to end our session. Ready?

– Yes!

Ine Vik

At the moment I think …

a lot about time and how to spend it

I am …

impatient and not proud of it

I love …

moments when everything makes sense

I am afraid of …

feeling powerless

When I am in the studio … 

I think of everything and nothing.



Published January 17, 2022