Pots from wild clay

A few months ago I did a one day pottery course at Udumbara Studio in Kallio, Helsinki. Eva, the owner of the studio and creator of the stunning pots in the first photos below, uses earth friendly wild clay pottery to make tea ware and flowerpots with a Nordic twist.

The wild, natural clay comes from the small village of Kultela in Somero, Southwestern Finland. While it starts out grey, firing the pots leads to the lovely rich earthy character of traditional terracotta pots.  This colour comes from the high mineral content of the clay (especially iron), which also lends a rich flavour to tea brewed in wild clay ware.

 

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One of Eva’s gold painted tea bowls

The clay is also perfect for potted plants, as it absorbs excess water as well as aging beautifully from the absorbed minerals in the plant soil. Eva uses this local raw material to emphasise the unique and ecological value of wild clay.

 

During the course we used several techniques, including coiling, slapping, thumb pots and the pottery wheel which was a hell of a lot harder than Demi Moore made it look!

The pots before firing. I marked mine with a curly e.

 

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Once fired my pots turned a beautiful burnt orange.

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Time to fill them up!

 

I filled the pots with succulents and other small plants and decided to use the bowl as a handy place to keep our keys by the door.

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I absolutely love the day spent at Udumbara and highly recommend getting your hands dirty with wild clay! 🙂

 

 

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