Snow is falling in thick flakes when I arrive at Ida Persson's house early in the morning. "A real Västerbotten Experience, approved by Visit Västerbotten in Lapland" says the sign on the wooden facade. "Come in," Ida greets me, "I've already lit the fire in my studio!"
Ida is a potter and in the studio in her old house in the countryside in northern Sweden she makes the most beautiful pottery. Lergrova’s pottery is both delicate and bold, wrapped in Scandinavian simplicity.
Inspired by the beautiful nature and ancient culture of the north, she has been making hand-turned pottery since 2006. In 2017, she obtained her master's certificate.
"What motivates me most is that my work is used in everyday life. That mugs formed by my hands warm someone's hands filled with hot tea or vases made by me with love are filled with flowers from someone's garden or a family eats from my plates, that just feels good. The aim of my work is to ultimately make someone's daily life a little more beautiful."
The name Lergrova comes from the dialect of her northern Swedish native Agnäs in Västerbotten. "It simply means 'big dug pit'. In the village there was a brickyard in the 40s to 60s and the clay pit for the bricks was right behind our house, the same house where we still live and work today."
I stamp my work with a clay stamp with my logo, a spruce from our northern forests.
Ida lives with her family in the old house where she herself grew up as a child. "It belonged to the farm next door and was bought by my grandfather, my parents eventually fixed it up and now we live here."
Next to the big house is a small house, a stuga. "That used to be the tunbröd bakery of the village, tunbröd are typical North Swedish flatbreads, a kind of knäckebröd but in a North Swedish way." The bakery house stood on the other side of the village. When it was in danger of being demolished, Ida's father, a building contractor, took it down part by part and rebuilt it next to their house. "Things were changed, for example the glass veranda at the front was built onto it, the old windows came from a nearby cowshed and the deep ochre-coloured door my grandfather found somewhere. He loved antiques and collected all sorts. These doors were originally made in the 18th century."
Meanwhile, Ida rents out the stuga via Airbnb. "I always get very nice reactions, especially because there are so many authentic elements, like the old fireplace for example. And my pottery, which is the crockery in the stuga."
She sends her pottery all over Sweden and beyond. "And yes, it really arrives whole" Ida laughs.