I’ve now known Anders Arhoj of Studio Arhoj for 12 years. We’ve seen each other move across continents, build businesses, and just plain... get old. When we get together, we are usually cracking up about design, food, and nature. We've traveled to Baja Mexico, Kyushu, and New York together, just to name a few places. But more memorably, we went to a maid cafe in 2009 and to Central Perk together in 2011. We are like siblings, just call us Monica and Chandler.
This August, I went to visit Anders aka Mr. Skankynavia aka CEO & Creative Director of Studio Arhoj for the third time in Copenhagen. The Studio Arhoj empire has grown to span two floors of a huge building in the Islands Brygge neighborhood of Denmark's capital. Islands Brygge is a hip and up-and-coming part area, just across the harbor from central Copenhagen (and south of Christianshavn). It kind of reminded me of West Oakland with builders and makers nestled in between industrial buildings converted into lofts.
Studio Arhoj HQ is located at Kigkurren 8M, st. 2300 Copenhagen S. You will see an archway leading up to it.
As you get closer, you will see the neon sign in the window on the second floor.
Anders led the way into the store.
At the landing, you will see another neon sign (Fun fact: the signs were made in Poland, a country famous for neon signage. Visit the Neon Muzeum if you are ever in Warsaw.).
With lots of shared products and display touches (Anders' designed Umami Mart in Oakland), I felt a kinship to Studio Arhoj. It was also great to meet Anders' team of potters, glazers, packers, and workers who keep the ship sailing.
Winter and Summer Bowls in all kinds of colors.
Studio Arhoj tissue paper!
Anders' on the cover of a Danish magazine, Børsen Pleasure.
Ghost seconds only available in the store.
Another reason to come to the store is to see some of the beautiful objets in person. Case in point, these Raku bowls that are "super limited" and are meant to be admired, not used.
Before he was a ceramicist, among other things, Anders' created Oline, a bee character for Denmark's public access television.
Amongst some Oline books is my zine, Japanify All Day!
The potter's station.
Sara (pictured here with Morten) works as a potter.
Anders takes me into the "Clay Unit."
Here, all of the clay dries and hang out for weeks at a time.
It was fascinating to see all of the products that eventually end up in stores like Umami Mart in their nascent stages.
And next into the glazing and firing area where Morten is at the helm.
On the day we visited, he was loading up the kilns with Splash Jars.
Flanked by kilns.
Anders took me into the "Chemical Unit" but advised me that there were no pictures allowed. Top secret!
Pia and Marcus were in the back putting the finishing touches on the fired pieces.
In the stock room upstairs, Joe keeps himself busy. All of these ghosts are lined up like soldiers, ready to deploy to wherever they are summoned.
Although I felt a tinge of sadness leaving the studio and Copenhagen, I know I'll be back. And the next time we get a shipment of these ceramic pieces from Denmark, I'll remember everyone I met at the studio and how each one had a hand in bringing them into fruition.
Thank you to Anders' and his whole staff for giving me the grand tour of Studio Arhoj! Till then hej hej!
STUDIO ARHOJ HQ and DESIGN STORE
Kigkurren 8M, st.
2300 Copenhagen S
T: +45 29 89 58 00