The Gotland Collection

The Gotland design was launched in the autumn 2021 and is inspired by Sweden’s largest island in the Baltic Sea where my grandparents lived and I spent many blissful childhood holidays. The distinctive rock formations, known locally as ‘Rauks’ are very recognisable to the island which is also named Gotland and one of the main attractions. The limestone stacks are weathered by the sea and wind, sculpted into unusual shapes, leading to some being named. My illustration here in watercolour and pencil represents the rock called Kaffepannan ‘Coffee Pot’. Highlighting the beautiful natural colours and textures that are so appreciated.

Gotland hand illustrated watercolour by artist Nina D. Gotland hand illustrated watercolour by artist Nina D.

I was searching for a particular light and colour palette when illustrating this design, a muted landscape with overcast skyline so the textures and colours of the rocks lifted with its hints of yellow. I began working with pencil on textured watercolour paper. Like all my designs, I layer my artwork and here I created a selection of the rocks (including the main rock that is called Coffee Pot) separately which was then placed onto the coastal landscape. This forms a striking two-dimensional effect when photographed which I am so passionate about.

Gotland hand illustrated watercolour by artist Nina D. Nina D in studio with artwork

I have incredibly fond memories of visiting my grandparents who lived on the island. Each time we arrived from the mainland (the ferry over took around six hours), there was a beautifully laid table with a spread of home cooked dishes that my grandmother Maria had made. My grandfather ran a business smoking fish for the restaurants in Stockholm so we often enjoyed smoked salmon and haddock. The table was always laid with a white full tablecloth, handmade linen napkins and tall tapered candles and my grandparents always came outside onto the steps of their house to give us a warm welcome.

The island is steeped in history of the Viking-era and its natural wonders. A place so close to my heart, I knew I had to create a tableware design reflecting my personal upbringing and family traditions.

Gotland placemats and coasters, hand illustrated by artist Nina D. Gotland placemats and coasters, hand illustrated by artist Nina D. Gotland hand illustrated watercolour by artist Nina D. Swedish birch wood tray on stand. Gotland hand illustrated watercolour by artist Nina D. Gotland placemats and coasters, hand illustrated by artist Nina D. Gotland placemats and coasters, hand illustrated by artist Nina D.

Here is a wonderful family photo at my grandparents home with myself and my Mother on the right. My grandmother wearing black and my two aunts to the left (Anna-Lisa and Maj-Britt). The little girl at the front is my cousin Sara.

Nina's family photo at her grandparents home on the island of Gotland in Sweden. Nina D Scandi inspired homeware.