Gate Report Summer [ENGLISH] April 05 2021

"The joy of life is my driving force”

She is an international ceramic artist and designer whose art and product lines are admired and renowned all over Europe, Japan and the United States.

But who is Agneta Livijn, this passionate, inspirational woman who started in the media industry as a freelance illustrator and now has taken the art world by storm?

Already at an early age Agneta was certain of her future and in which direction life would take her. With a heart full of dreams and a determined mind, she entered Beckmans School of Design, and then continued further to do her studies in art and design in prestigious schools in both San Fransisco and France.

Her love for France is strong since her childhood. As teenager she spent a lot of time
in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, in the beautiful villa her father bought from Swedish famous actor Karl Gerhard. The beauty of the French culture influenced her art in many ways but especially her handmade striped Caffè latte cups, which have been a worldwide success for over 25 years!

Agneta’s love affair with ceramics began when she met her husband and started a family. And the timing could not have been more perfect. As she began to work with clay the demand for handmade ceramics was huge. Her technique of not turning the clay but kneading it instead and then building by her pieces of pottery was unique.

The company grew fast with customers like IKEA and Habitat and she sourced factories in Portugal and Italy. Her first handmade mugs was made for Wayne’s Coffee and an exclusive collection of cups was developed for the boutique Story Hotel in Stockholm, suitable for espressos, brûlée puddings or small appetisers.

One of her recent assignments was to design espresso cups in an honour of Elieen Gray. A prestigious collaboration with Cap Moderne which was initiated in 2019, where she designed cups with patterns from Eileen Gray’s beautiful rugs. The project was presented at a charity dinner with Prince Albert of Monaco as guest of honour at Villa E-1027.

This amazing sea front villa, which had been in hibernation for many years, was designed by Gray and Jean Badovivici in 1924. Eileen together with Le Corbusier who lived in a house on site created the side table of glass E-1027, among many other beautiful things. It seems more a ”meant to be” than a coincidence that the talented Agneta got involved in this lovely project.

What inspires you?
”I love the magic and energy that personal interactions creates, and I get so much inspiration from a beautifully arranged dinner party. Travelling and seeing the the world also gives me lots of inspiration, especially exotic places like the Maldives and Mauritius.”

What are your upcoming projects?
”My next project will be on the 10th of December at Villa Ingeborg on the Riviera, where I will display my oil pantings. I’m also visualising a plate concept for Cap Modern and I have a book project coming up too, which I hope will be launched in August in 2020.”

Now, what is your secret for managing it all?
”Good employees! Make sure you have good people around you who can provide both results and inspiration. In New York I succeeded thanks to good contacts.”
But one of her main credits for it all she says is to her role model father who had an unconventional lifestyle. With four siblings and a mother who passed away prematurely, she had to find ways that made life a little easier. Agneta is now herself a great role model for all entrepreneurs.

Finally, why are you so passionated about water lilies, lace and soul music?
”I discovered water lilies in the garden that once belonged Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakesh. His garden was enchanting and forever was stuck in my imagination and image of the world. I love lace, such magic in the fine craftsmanship I saw during my factory visits in Portugal. Soul music is keeping me alive!”