CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
In the Green Room

Paint Maker Katrin Trautwein

I’m a Professional Dilettante

Katrin Trautwein is the founder of kt.COLOR, a Swiss manufacturer of handcrafted paint colors sourced from around the world. She is also the author of 128 Colors and Black. Before participating in the Zócalo/Getty “Open Art” event “What Does Blackness Mean?”, she talked about the one sandwich in Switzerland that’s worth eating, the smells of a sailing trip from Sweden to Majorca, and the difference between Swiss German and plain old normal German.

Q:
What is your favorite color?

A:
Today I’ll say black.

Q:
Do you have a favorite kind of sandwich?

A:
Well, Switzerland isn’t a sandwich culture. They make one with pretzels with salami and pickles and butter. That’s a good sandwich.

Q:
What is your greatest extravagance?

A:
Sunglasses.

Q:
What is your favorite German word?

A:
Swiss German is a little bit different. So: küchenchasten. It means “the kitchen cupboard.” It’s the word we use in Switzerland to tell who can speak Swiss German and who speaks plain old normal German.

Q:
What was your best vacation?

A:
We spent half a year on our sailboat. We sailed from Sweden to Majorca. That was fantastic. We were moving slow, smelling and seeing places in a rhythm we don’t ordinarily experience.

Q:
What’s your hidden talent?

A:
I think it’s combining knowledge from completely disparate areas. I’m a professional dilettante. I know a little about a lot of things—I can bridge chemistry, art, color science, philosophy, ontology, architecture.

Q:
What are you reading right now?

A:
I read six or so books at once. Right now: Robert Frost poetry, a book about how the shadow has vanished out of life by an author whose name I’ve forgotten, The Fragility of Things by William Connolly, and a book by Levi Bryant on speculative realism.

Q:
What kind of car do you drive?

A:
I don’t have a car. I had an Audi, and I ran it without oil and stopped driving it and didn’t replace it.

Q:
What do you wake up to?

A:
Espresso.

*Photo by Aaron Salcido.