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Inspiration / Ambassadors / In Manuel Canu’s studio

In Manuel Canu’s studio


OF Manuel Canu

Photo: Birgitta Bjørnvad


In Italian artist Manuel Canu’s studio in Copenhagen, there was a strong draft from the large main door leading into the street. But with a portiére created of curtains from Designers Guild and a custom lacquered curtain track from Stilling, the draft and noise from outside was considerably reduced.


Manuel Canu lives with his wife and their two daughters in Copenhagen and has his studio in Kødbyen, the former meat packing district. In this studio, Manuel Canu has created ceramic sculptures, clay installations and visual art for the past four years. And this is where we visit him on a cold winter’s day to talk about his new portiére.

AP 9001 / Yves Klein Blue


Entering the studio, it is clear that the rusty outer door no longer fits snugly into its frame. Thus both wind and cold can easily enter through the cracks. This used to leave the workshop cold and draughty in the colder months of the year. But in collaboration with Designers Guild, Stilling have installed a portiére in front of the door to prevent the cold from making it an impossible task to create art. And at the same time the portiére hides the less attractive door, which does not really fit in among the beautiful artworks in the room.

The heavy curtain fabric from Designers Guild is woven with blue and gray yarn. It is lined with a matching greige textile which has a different texture and weave.

– I have chosen the textiles because they are heavy and insulating, but also because they radiate a warm, robust feeling, says Manuel Canu.


The heavy curtain requires a strong curtain track and strong gliders. Manuel Canu chose our round AP 9001 track, which in terms of shape resembles a classic curtain rod but has the functionality of a curtain track:

– The track is bent by hand in an soft L shape, so it covers both the door and the adjacent wall. This way, I can pull the curtain back and forth from one wall to the other at my leisure, says Manuel Canu.

– And of course the curtain track is blue, he smiles.

At Stilling, we can wet paint all our curtain tracks in any colour and gloss, so that they can correspond with any kind of interior. Or, like in Manuels case, they can show who resides in the studio. The curtain track was custom lacquered in a clear Yves Klein blue, because blue is the artist’s favourite colour: 

– Blue is a colour rich in symbolism and historical references, a sacred and eternal colour. It is my favourite colour, as its deep and calming properties invite me to a meditative state of mind, says Manuel Canu. 

– I use blue in most of my drawings and paintings. It has become kind of a signature colour for me, he adds. 


The cold draft was Manuel Canu’s primary reason for getting a portiere, but it has proven to have another advantage:

– My new curtain has certainly helped to isolate the draft coming from the large door in the studio. But in addition to improving the indoor climate, the heavy fabric also acts as a sound dampener on the traffic noise from outside. It makes my workplace more calm and quiet, says Manuel Canu.

The artist cannot rule out that more curtains will be added to his studio at some point:

– I think that this kind of curtain solution would also work well as a room divider, especially in a large shared studio like mine.

The waves of the heavy curtain fabric play well with the rustic surroundings. They repeat themselves in Manuel Canu’s beautiful paintings and reliefs with studies of algae and water in motion. And Manuel Canu has also felt a change in the ambience of the room:

– The ceiling-length curtain creates a cozy atmosphere, a more intimate area in my part of the large studio. You might say that a portiere creates calm on several levels, concludes Manuel Canu.


Visual artist Manuel Canu (IT) has a Bachelor in 3D Ceramics Design from Bath Spa University, England, and now lives and work in Copenhagen.

In his ceramic sculptures and clay installations Manuel Canu explores architectural and sculptural examination of space, gravity and material. By ascribing to historic decorative craftsmanship, he examines the reinterpretation of clay, applied as a decorative and architectural media in a contemporary context. His artworks often exude a subtle humor, a sense of playfulness and a trace of anarchy.

Manuel Canu debuted in Denmark with works selected for the celebrated Forårsudstillingen and Kunstnernes Efterårsudstilling where he won the Patricia Asbæk Prize. In recent years Canus work has gained considerable achievements on the national and international art scene, with exhibitions in countries such as Georgia, Switzerland, Sweden. And national exhibitions in places such as Gammel Gård Kunst Center, Janus Vest-Jylland Kunst Museum and latest a major exhibition at Clay Museum Denmark.