Vases made during the Soil Laboratory that was part of the Soil Matters exhibition at Design Museum in Helsinki on 4 September–10 January 2021. The vases are part of the Ceramics Facing the New (Särkyvää – Keramiikka uuden äärellä) exhibition at EMMA Espoo Museum for Modern Art between May 3rd, 2021 and August 8th, 2022.
The purpose of the Soil Laboratory was to reflect on the relationship between human activity and the earth and soil through research, art and personal stories. The ceramic artists working in the laboratory during the exhibition contribute an integral approach as well as a unique understanding of soil and its materials. Research took place collectively and understanding was broadened throughout the process. Visitors of the exhibition were encouraged to follow the progress of the work of the Soil Laboratory and discuss the projects with the artist-researchers at the exhibition.
During my nine-month stay in New Zealand, the core of my artistic practice centered around the local earth samples I gathered during my walks, especially around the Waiheke island. I processed these materials in my studio and then I used them both as clay body for art works, and as coloured slips for paintings on clay and paper. The exhibition Earth-Dialogue was displayed at the St Paul St Gallery, Auckland, 27.11.-11.12.2015. The exhibition consisted of the clay paintings and documentation of the creative process underpinning my work. It also included documentary photographs of local places and materials I encountered during my walks.
My unique small vessels are done by using specific traditional materials and techniques, such as wood firing with celadon glazing and Raku firing. The forms of the objects are created with hand building techniques by using a combination of slab technique and coiling. On the objects, I applie diverse experimental drawing and painting techniques.
Coiling is a traditional technique that allows me to build big forms – in my case vases. For me this very physical working process is also a meditative state of mind, during which I look for a balance between material, technique and an aesthetically pleasing form. The leather hard bowls serve as canvased for paintings and drawings.
Silkscreen and Painting on Finnish Earthenware
I like to work with local materials, especially Finnish earthenware. In the beginning of my artistic career, I started to use silkscreen printing for transferring images onto wet clay surfaces. Before printing, I prepare ceramic slabs by applying them clay slips I make from raw ingredients. After printing the image to the wet clay slab, I continue the image by painting, drawing and scratching. After the first firing, I finish the surface by painting the background with a mixture of water and baking soda.
Silkscreen on Reindeer Bone Porcelain
The light works are implemented by using the results of the research project that examined the possibility to use Finnish reindeer bone ash as one component when making bone porcelain. With the help of paper pulp that fades away during the firing, I am able to generate thin porcelain slabs that let light through. Before firing, I print the images on the raw slabs with silkscreen. Of the empty slabs, I have also formed a three-dimensional porcelain screen that I used for the screening of the video Female Genealogy. This work was shown for the first time as part of the Mirrorplay III exhibition on display at Gallery Laterna Magica, Helsinki, Finland 3.-21.10.2000.