Spotlight on Katharina von Samson

by Susannah Grant posted on 15 February 2020

This month we talk to German-born Katharina von Samson, former lawyer, current jewellery designer, volunteer gardener, seamstress, German School Parents’ Board member who has brought up 4 children and in addition to all of the above, still finds time to play the piano and participate in book clubs in Switzerland.

What brought you to Madrid in 2017?

We were simply looking for a change as neither mine nor my husband´s job tie us down to any particular place. So we took advantage of the fact we only had our 4th child, Amata, living at home and chose to move to one of the most wonderful cities in Europe.

How has it been different from living in Berne for 12 years?

Madrid is 44.3662 times bigger in terms of population, is 111 meters higher up, yet both have a bear in the city seal!

Why did you give up your job as a research assistant to Professor Paul Kirchhof, Vice President of the German Constitutional Court?

I was standing at my third child’s cot shouting at my daughter to fall asleep so I could get back to work – when I decided to switch my priorities.

Why did it take you long to accept that you are now a professional jewellery designer?

I always felt a positive tension between academic challenges to the mind and the joy of manual creativity. After a long education, I felt tempted and compelled to practice law. My creative side needed to outgrow a hobby before I realized that they are equivalent.

What are you favourite materials?

Anything that has life and colour in it and uncommon combinations such as shells with rubies.

What other artistic talents do you have?

Other means of expression are singing in the German School Choir, sewing (including my own wedding dress), playing the piano and interior decorating (relocating is a wonderful excuse!). When one of them is high up on my agenda, I go at it full tilt for weeks.

Your interest in music has led you to support a Peruvian charity, tell us more.

I believe that music is an essential element of child education and want to make it available to as many children the world over as I can.

Tell us how you got involved with the vibrant German community in Madrid.

Having relocated frequently, I’m pretty good at seeking out hot spots of interesting activity. The Protestant German Church (“Friedenskirche”) provided a home from home and an opportunity to enjoy a bit of gardening which living in an apartment here doesn’t offer. I believe that schools are more than just a place to keep kids busy and so I decided to volunteer on the Board of Parents of the German School.

Has anything surprised you about Madrid and its people?

Coming from notoriously punctual and “spic-and-span” clean Switzerland, I was pleasantly surprised not to find a significant difference over here.

What is your secret Madrid?

Browsing for creative material in the many craft supply shops between Plaza Mayor and Calle de Atocha.

If you could wave a magic wand what would you do next in your life?

I´d be in the same place with two additional hands.

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