It seems like everyone is getting into ceramics these days and even replacing their hard-earned royal porcelain with unique handmade pieces with character and made with love. Pottery classes are also on the rise, and even Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio have been pulling late nights in Pitt’s sculpture studio.

One of the rising stars in the ceramic world is Guðbjörg Káradóttir the founder of Ker, a brand based in Reykjavik Iceland. All items by Ker are designed and handmade on the wheel by ceramic artist Guðbjörg Káradóttir with passion and respect for the craft. Káradóttir is well known in Iceland and has made a name for herself by making the most stunning coffee cups, minimalistic Christmas trees and of cause her work for some of the best restaurants in Iceland and even New York.

At seventeen, Káradóttir studied abroad in Norway and took a year-long art program. There she learned the hand throwing technique on the wheel, and it was no turning back. She had found her place in life. When Káradóttir got back to Iceland, she was determent to learn everything possible about the ceramics industry and started working in the Icelandic ceramics factory Glit in Reykjavík.
Shortly after she graduated from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 1994, Káradóttir opened her first studio. The first task was to design and produce tableware for a restaurant. She had to produce 400 pieces in only five weeks and made it work somehow. There were many sleepless nights involved. Later that year, Káradóttir designed her first tableware collection, and it kickstarted her career.

The inspiration

Icelandic nature has always played a big part in Káradóttir’s work. She grew up in Hafnarfjördur, a small town built on lava. Growing up in this environment and the magnificent Icelandic nature has had a significant influence on her work to this day.

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The unique technique

Later many big projects came along, and while working for the Blue Lagoon, on a project using volcanic ash, Káradóttir started experimenting with the ash and porcelain in her studio.
She then developed a method in mixing Volcanic ash from the Southern Peninsula region in Iceland in porcelain. The outcome has an interesting texture and colour. This technique is one of the things that makes her work so unique.

The meditation of throwing

Hand throwing is like meditation for Káradóttir, she finds it so soothing and is happiest when she can get lost in her work in the studio—working on the wheel for hours on end. Káradóttir is rather exact when it comes to completion and shape and watching her work is mesmerizing, each item goes through so many stages from start to finish all made by hand.

The restaurants

Káradóttir has been working exclusively with some of Iceland’s top chefs designing tableware and pendants for restaurants in Iceland and the Claus Meyer restaurant Agern in Grand Central, New York.
When designing tableware for restaurants, it all starts with a conversation with the chefs. Káradóttir tunes into the atmosphere and style of the food and the restaurant and finds her inspiration from there. It is all about the teamwork. For her, a piece isn’t ready until the chefs’ work is presented on the tableware. The goal is to create a timeless product with great regard for detail.
Káradóttir designed the tableware for the Icelandic Culinary Team for the Olympics 2016 and 2020 and is also working for the Icelandic contestant in Bocuse d’Or 2020.

Lava Cup  Ker
Espresso DKK 190 / Americano DKK 290

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Lava cups by Ker ceramics, kerrvk


In the studio, everything is recycled. Porcelain, clay and glaze leftovers are reused if possible or recycled, minimalizing waste. Ker’s production uses 100% green energy and is in the process of getting an official certification from The National Power Company of Iceland. Every step is taken to make the entire production as environmentally sustainable as possible.

Sierra Leone

For about two months a year for the last couple of years, Káradóttir has been volunteering in Sierra Leone, for the Aurora Foundation.
She is helping to establish a ceramics workshop and school called Lettie Stuart pottery. The project assists local potters and students of the school, by encouraging them to think out of the box and recognize that their skills and creativity have a value and a market. It has been one of the absolute highlights of her career and incredibly rewarding to be able to give back in that way.