Heini Riitahuhta (1975) graduated from the ceramics and glass department of the University of Art and Design in 2002. That same year she received the Honorable mention in Mino, Japan. The young artist expresses her artistry with decorative unique works. The same decoration motives appear in her serial production objects. Her journey in Arabia started as a result of her diploma work, Helmi light. Now Heini works in Arabia Art Department. She is the chairman of the Art Department Society.
”In design I seek the symbiosis of decoration and form – they communicate together and create a fulfilling entity. My design language is minimalistic but I combine simplified form with generous decoration surface. My unique ceramics follows the same thought/pattern. It starts with the objects and is based on the tradition of industrial art design?
Decorations and patterns that I design are usually based on Finnish nature and plant themes. I aim at bringing my own view into the traditional ceramics motives – the motive is traditional but the disposal is mine.”
Professor Heljä Liukko-Sundström (1938) knows every secret there is about ceramics. She came to the Arabia Industrial Art Department in 1962 and continued to the Arabia Art Department in 1967. Heljä is especially known as a ceramic artist and painter. In addition to being a wonderful storyteller, her art works open a unique world filled with joy and possibilities.
Many people know Heljä Liukko-Sundström because of her extremely popular ceramics plates and also her lovely books. In the Spring 2006 her 8th book, Saven runoilija, will be published. It is a picture book where Heljä tells about her works and career in Arabia Art Department from 1960’s until today. In addition to her unforgettable books Heljä has made many public art works – the biggest being Ateljé Heljä in Humppila.
Ceramic art from the 1960’s by Heljä Liukko-Sundström.
Grayson Perry (born 1960) is an English artist, famous for his art and famous for his cross-dressing. Grayson Perry was awarded the Turner prize in 2003 for his brilliant but often shocking ceramic works, the first ‘potter’ to receive the accolade. Grayson Perry’s classically formed vases are decorated in bright colours, depicting disturbing and often uncomfortable subjects at odds with their attractive appearance. There is a strong autobiographical element in Grayson Perry’s work, in which images of Grayson Perry as “Claire”, his female alter-ego, often appear. Grayson Perry collected his Turner prize award dressed as his alter ego Claire.
From an early age Grayson Perry liked to dress in women’s clothes and in his teens realized that he was a transvestite. Deciding against joining the army and on the advice of his art teacher he enrolled at art school, graduating from Portsmouth Polytechnic with a BA honours in fine art.
Grayson Perry started taking evening classes in pottery in September 1983. However, he didn’t and still doesn’t ‘throw’ the clay on the wheel, preferring instead to use ‘coiling’ an old traditional method where by the clay is moulded into a snake and built up into the required shape. His first piece of pottery success was a plate depicting a crude crucifixion and had the words Kinky sex marked across it.
Grayson Perry was never motivated by a desire to work in clay as such; rather he chose pottery because studio ceramics was in “thrall to a formal idea”. Grayson Perry found in pottery an effective alternative because of “the ways artifice could be deployed to make the innocent or honest pot have a purpose and mean something”.
Grayson Perry’s pottery refers to several ceramic traditions, including Greek pottery and folk art. Grayson Perry has said, “I like the whole iconography of pottery. It hasn’t got any big pretensions to being great public works of art, and no matter how brash a statement I make, on a pot it will always have certain humility … for me the shape has to be classical invisible: then you’ve got a base that people can understand”. Most have a complex surface employing many techniques, including “glazing, incision, embossing, and the use of photographic transfers”, which requires several firings. To some he adds sprigs, little relief sculptures stuck to the surface. The high degree of skill required by his ceramics and their complexity distances them from craft pottery. It has been said that these methods are not used for decorative effect but to give meaning. Grayson Perry challenges the idea, implicit in the craft tradition, that pottery is merely decorative or utilitarian and cannot express ideas.
“People have sub-personalities and they play them out, a mature person is someone who can negotiate and allow sub-personalities to have their say even when we may find some of the voices unattractive. There’s parts of all of ourselves we don’t like. ‘Print for a Politician’ tries to capture that.”
GRAYSON PERRY, “The Walthamstow Tapestry”.2009.