About me

Lenny Goldenberg Gets Branded

-a dialogue between Lenny Goldenberg (LG) and Branding International (BI)

BI: Tell me about yourself.

LG: There's not much to tell.

BI: We need to find a story that is you- and only you. Now when and why did you start making clay books?

LG: When? About 15 years ago. Why? I like to write, stories and such, but no publisher will print me. So I publish my own books in clay.

BI: I've been into your website. There's a foto of you in your workshop, holdiing a cup in one hand, a 500 kroner note in the other and a big smile on your face.

LG: Well, a customer has just bought a cup and handed me a 500 kroner bill. It's almost the end of the month and the monthly alimony is due. Therefore the smile. Unfortunately, I couldn't give him change so he went off to town to get some. He said he would come back, but that was 6 months ago.

BI: Pity.

LG: Yes, well now I've made other arrangements with the kommune.

BI: Good. Now let's get back to your story. I can see that you make a series of mugs that you call impostor cups. Are you an impostor?

LG: No, I just like to compare myself to famous people. Maybe some of their fame will rub off on me.

BI: Like Lenny Da Vinci? That might be a possibility if everything else fails. Now let's see -you have a ceramic pillar with musical instruments printed on it. Is there some story behind that?

LG: Yes, you see I come from a very musical family. Both my mother and father were musical. From a very early age I was exposed to a musical environment. My mother used to change me on top of the the piano. I think she hoped that the close contact with the piano would have a beneficial effect on me.

BI: One moment, before you go on, what about this foto of a globe with an upside-down map of the world on it?

LG: Famous Explorers? That's about Robert Scott, the explorer, who lost his life at the South Pole. It's his last letter -I was very taken with his story. But to get back to my story: one day my mother after changing me, left me alone for a minute, just to answer the doorbell and I fell off the piano. She told me some years later that the caller had been a famous German composer, I can't remember his name right now, but as I fell I struck the keys and according to her played a very beautiful chord which the caller later used as the main theme of a piano solo...

BI: 'The Goldberg Variations" perhaps?

LG: Hardly...

BI: What about this foto? A series of spheres with some cones attached to them?

LG: Those are buoys- buoy books. They are meant to float in water. I was inspired by the great variety of buoys that I saw during a sailing trip to Stockholm. They give different signals to the sailor. One's life depends upon them. Anyway, to get back to the story, this experience of falling off the piano completely turned me off. Later, after I learned to walk, my mother left various musical instruments in my path. I think she hoped I would choose one of them and build a musical career around it.

BI: Well, did it work?

LG: Eventually it did. It was quite a trying time for me: I stepped through a couple of violins. I also got my head caught in a bass drum. Then the French horn- I got completely entangled. My mother had to call the plumber to cut me free. Talk about parental pressures. My mother would not give up. Finally I slipped and fell on the mouth organ. This became my instrument. I learned to play it quite quickly. Later I was enrolled in a music school and was making great progress until I had this freak accident. I was playing 'Rhapsody in Blue' for a small audience. I was quite nervous. This was my first concert. I was playing one of those very small mouth organs- a mini mouth organ. There is a certain phrase where you have to draw your breath in a number of times in a row…To make a long story short, I swallowed the mouth organ.

BI: Terrible! Awful. Well, I can see from these fotos that you also make functional ware. Here is a foto of a very special teapot- a left-handed teapot? What is that good for?

LG: For a left-handed person, of course! Well, to get back, that was the end of my musical career. Later I took a night school class in pottery and that was that. I do play the mouth organ on occasion but only with my nose -and never 'Rhapsody in Blue'.

BI: Very interesting. But all that you've told me is not really anything I can use- that you, as a baby fell off a piano or as a young man swallowed a mouth organ or that you are behind! in your alimony payments -that's not real branding material.

LG: I'm just trying to find turning points in my life.

BI: Yes, but it's nothing I can use. You have to be branded with something exceptional- that will lodge itself in people's consciousness. For example if you see some young, beautiful girls in an open sportscar, what do you think of?

LG: I'd rather not say.

BI: You think, of course, of quenching your thirst with Coca Cola. You don't think of alimony payments. I'll tell you what: "why don't you go home and try to find some better branding material. Come again when you have something better to work on".


Soloexhibition at Svanekegaarden, 6. May - 5. June 2017
"Famous potters and poets"

See the video of the opening of Lenny's exhibition at Svanekegaarden here




lenny goldenberg




buoy books


music book






J.S. Bach


©Copyright Lenny Goldenberg Ceramics