Marte Marie Forsberg is a photographer, visual story teller, and writer. Originally from a small coastal town in the south of Norway, she now calls a small village in the english countryside home.
Marte Marie’s passion for photography and cooking lead her to write her first cookbook, The Cottage Kitchen, which is a testament to Marie’s journey, her story told through one-hundred recipes and beautiful images.
The Cottage Kitchen is less of a collection of recipes as it is Marte Marie’s story told through the medium of beautiful imagery and mouth-watering dishes.
Tell us about you, how did get to where you are?
I grew up on a fjord island off the coast in southern Norway in a very creative family, where homemade seasonal cooking with produce from our large kitchen garden, was the norm. It definitely influenced me when I years later published my debut cookbook rooted in my mother’s Norwegian kitchen, and inspired by my world travels, an ode to simple rustic cooking.
After years of studying design and languages, and working as a photographer, I fell in love with a wonky cottage in the English countryside one night, as I searched the internet for the next chapter in my life.
I was on a fashion shoot in London and didn’t know much about anything outside the city, when I stumbled across a whitewashed thatched cottage for rent in a small town in the country.
My heart skipped a beat and filled me with such warmth and excitement I simply had to view it the next day. Within 24hours I had signed the contract and moved in!
Seven years on I still live in the same area, and the move have greatly shaped my work, both as a photographer and later as a designer.
For many years I worked as a food and lifestyle photographer for magazines and brands around the world, running cookery and photography workshops around Europe, in unique and off the beaten track places.
When styling for clients, or during photography sessions at my workshops, people wanted to know where I sourced by props and antiques, and I began toying with the idea of creating my very own pottery range. A simple and rustic collecting that would inspire sitting down together over a meal.
The collection quickly grew, and even if I still work as a photographer and run workshops, I also spend much of my time creating for my lifestyle brand Forsberg 1935.
How would you describe your work in three words?
Simple, elegant and timeless
Where do you feel most inspired and who inspires you?
I may live in the countryside, which gives me the calm and quiet to create, but I need the city to give me that burst of energy, and injection of inspiration.
The work of the Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio has long been of great inspiration to me, and I gather impressions in my mental image bank from his incredible work, but also from so many wonderful artists I come across on my regular museum and gallery visits. However, I would say that my biggest source of inspiration is my mother. Her sense of style, and wise way of being has always inspired me as a human, as a woman and as a maker.
What is your creative process?
Every year I create a new mood board for a whole wall in my studio, it sets the tone of what I’m drawn to from styles, colours, to places, feelings and materials, which I later create a book from, so as to always have it for the archives.
Even if my different mood boards sets the tones for everything I’ll be creating and working towards that year, my core style remains the same, simple, elegant and timeless.
I do a lot of research, gathering materials, and information before I create anything, and sometimes I’m not sure what I love the most, the creative process or holding or wearing the final piece.
What materials do you most like to work with? Does it differ depending on subject?
My mother was a designer and I loved whiling the hours away in her studio filled to the brim with fabric, lace, dried flowers, yarn, and leather. In the basement she also had a shared space with my father where we could play and work with wood and clay, creating whatever we wanted. It was a dream to be completely free to play with all these different materials. My degree in fashion design leaves me a bit partial to fabric, and I simply love feeling different textures and seeing how they drape and fall on a bust, but I also love clay and designing a pottery collection for Forsberg 1935 has been such a joy.
What’s your greatest achievement?
Perhaps my greatest achievement is yet to be? I truly feel like I have so much more to create and do, and even if I’m grateful for the work I’ve been able to do so far, I think my greatest achievements are ahead of me, dangling like carrots, spurring me on to stretch, grow and learn more. I hope I never reach it, but rather remain in awe and excitement of what’s to come.
What does the next few years look like for you and what are you most excited about?
After having spent the last decade working mainly working as a photographer, I’m very much looking forward to this new chapter where I spend more time working with designing for my lifestyle brand Forsberg 1935, even if photography will always remain as a core.
This year a small clothing collecting will be added, something I’ve been dreaming of for years, after studying fashion design in Milano in my twenties, and slowly more accessories and new products for my pottery collection will be added as well.
It’s an exciting time, and I cannot wait to be spending more time working on Forsberg 1935, for all the exciting workshops we have planned, and for the event Petersham and I are working on for September this year.