How would you define what you do?
I use traditional techniques to make modern objects, functional ceramics and unique art. It is important that they are made by me, that the aspect of craft is visible. Still, they have to be functional, well made and exquisite. I use innovative materials like local clay or stone powder.
Can you relate a memorable moment in your professional life?
After starting my business I broke my wrist badly. I thought I would never be able to work. But instead of getting depressed I decided to continue somehow. I did what I could and got help from friends and family. After surgery my hand is now almost as good as before. Never give up!
© Tanja Ahjopalo
Do you master any specific techniques?
Throwing is my technique. Every movement of your body makes its mark. It is like thinking with your hands. Ideas and prototypes are born on the spot. After mastering symmetrical objects I turned to making asymmetric organic shapes, as thin as possible. I also deploy a Japanese technique, Nerikomi.
Do you remember when you first decided to take up this craft?
Clay chose me! Already as a child I had a strong interest in it. I knew where to find it near our home. After my time in America, where my teacher was Janet Buskirk, it was obvious I wanted to study ceramics and become a professional. It is about continuous learning, so the interest stays and grows.