Inspired by the ancient and very active volcano, Mount Etna in Sicily, Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer’s design studio specializes in handcrafted lava stone tiles. File Under Pop works in dressing walls, ceilings, countertops, floors, and more with these unique tiles, in addition to custom paints, and hand-painted wallpapers that were designed to last.
The Copenhagen-based company produces with quality being at the forefront of all its designs. “We are craftsmen and only through thoroughness do we accomplish high-quality products,” says Hoffmeyer. “Layer after layer of studies, analyses, sketches, and renderings combined with mold-making and prototypes rest behind every File Under Pop product. It is our clear objective to sustain lifelong products when we materialize colors and glazes, shapes, dimensions, tiles, wallpaper, fabrics, and more.”
Hoffmeyer, the founder of File Under Pop, has always been driven by creativity. The designer first led a musical career, studying and playing among international talents in New York City, hence the name choice for her design company. However, a passion for travel landed Hoffmeyer in Italy where she was soon captivated by the active volcano, Mount Etna, the lava stone, and the natural beauty of the area.
“Beauty is visual, although you can see right through it or sense it in complete darkness. It is neither a fixed image nor state of mind. Beauty exists through engagement and consciousness of all living beings,” says Hoffmeyer. Her creativity soon translated into an interest in tile making, which resulted in the tile company, File Under Pop. “Beauty is imperfect, incomplete, and impermanent. It often balances opposite directions at the same time and File Under Pop aims to make room for beauty in all aspects,” explains Hoffmeyer.
Italian glazed and raw lava stone, and Spanish clay make up the individual tiles that are hand-crafted and truly one of a kind at File Under Pop. The design, textures, and raw materials prompt a natural, almost unprocessed feel to each room the tiles are placed in.
“All our tiles are developed with great care and processed by hand, making each tile a unique piece of craftsmanship,” according to a File Under Pop representative. The tiles are made with such pure materials and crafted so carefully that the natural clay or lava stone becomes playfully imperfect during its process of being compacted, carved, and converted.
“Our clay tiles come from a family-owned production located just outside the Spanish town of Valencia. All the clay tiles are made using silkscreen and hand-printing techniques to create the decorations,” says another File Under Pop representative. The final product of both forms is deeply reminiscent of where it originated and its natural state.
Clay and lava stones are the specialties, though they have expanded into several other design aspects over the years. From vases, lava stone boards, sinks and more, the designers and handcrafters at File Under Pop are pushing the raw materials to new levels. In addition to the tiles, the artistic designs on the glazed tiles and painted onto the wallpapers are equally impressive and in tune with the overall aesthetic.
About the designs, a representative explains that they display “characteristics of traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi, include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and the appreciation of both natural objects and the forces of nature.” These concepts can be seen in several of the designs, such as Edo Clouds, which consists of delicate cloud shapes that repeat in a simple but beautiful pattern, or the Patch wallpaper, which clearly displays large, thick brush strokes in an asymmetrical pattern that feels muted and natural, but also intricate. The raw, natural stones — either glazed or unglazed — enhance the original texture, grooves, and markings in the stone.
File Under Pop is just around the corner from the Color Lab, which is the company’s very own paint and tile shop that offers products, but also helpful advice, and perspective when it comes to paint colors and pairings. “Colors are not just a tool to create joy or well-being. They house the potential to unfold an endless range of human emotions and give us the chance to clarify, process, and release even states of grief or sorrow,” says a File Under Pop representative. The Color Lab offers 96 different shades and blends of colors that were each carefully curated by Hoffmeyer. To create an extremely intricate finish, and bring out more details in the design motifs, the paints are mixed with copper, silver, and white gold leaf, and 23-karat gold leaf.
“Beauty is imperfect, incomplete, and impermanent. It often balances opposite directions at the same time and File Under Pop aims to make room for beauty in all aspects.”
Every File Under Pop decoration has its own philosophy and source of inspiration, according to Hoffmeyer. All together, or on their own, the various File Under Pop items help to create spaces that feel natural and cohesive, which is in alignment with the company’s style and overall goal to create lasting designs. “Most of us sense it instinctively when all elements fall into place and we align ourselves with our surroundings,” says Hoffmeyer.