Co-Founder of Tortus Visits SDA
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Eric Landon of Tortus, a ceramics studio in Copenhagen, came to SDA’s campus today and did a series of demonstrations on the wheel and talked about how he became a freelance artist. Throughout the few hours that Landon sat at the wheel, around 80 students observed as he explained techniques and skills while throwing.
On Jan. 22, Landon, posted to his Instagram account that he would be visiting two schools, which later became four, in either San Diego, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. Quickly, the post gained thousands of likes and hundreds of comments from potters all across the west coast. Seniors Brandon Adams, Corban Stewart, and Drew Von Zweck started the hashtag #bringthetortus and posted photos and timelapses to Instagram under the tag @sda.ceramics. About a month later, Landon announced that he would be visiting SDA’s campus in mid-March.
In addition to selling pottery, Landon travels and teaches workshops and for the past three months, has been travelling down the west coast visiting schools and conducting workshops.
“Well, what I produce is expensive stuff, and not everyone can afford my things and not everyone can attend my workshops. And for me the profession will only get stronger if the younger people also find it interesting… It’s important for me to give back,” said Landon.
Tortus explained to students the importance of loving what you do, saying that people don’t always have to sit down and know what they are going to make.
“That’s how I used to work. Now I just kinda make what I want to make,” he said. “I live in a country where everything is very intentional, and very rational, and I’m not rational at all. I just kind of make what I want. As long as people want to buy my things and find them beautiful, that’s all that matters to me. And then when people suddenly don’t find them beautiful, then I know it’s time to make something new.”
Landon, who is originally from Wisconsin, took his first pottery class junior year in high school and “just a couple day into it [he] knew it was something [he] really wanted to do for the rest of [his] life,” he said. When travelling in Europe, he fell in love with the city of Copenhagen where he later moved. While in Copenhagen, he attended the Danish School of Design where he further pursued his passion for ceramics and pottery and later he opened his studio Tortus.
After a few years of creating pieces for wholesale retail, he realized that he was losing his love for ceramics. He then stopped selling wholesale and focused all of his time into throwing and selling pieces direct to consumers. Nowadays, Tortus has grown their online presence immensely and now sells 95 percent of his work direct to consumer, he said.