Maija Karsta

Latvian Designer

I see the art of pottery, ceramics and creation of tableware as a game of chess, where each move has a strategic meaning – the result depends on it.

Maira Karsta sees the art of pottery, ceramics and creation of tableware as a game of chess, where each move has a strategic meaning – the result depends on it. This means that she is carefully considering how to glaze, whether to choose the glossy or mate one, whether to put the emphasis on the drawing or the shape of the object. Often she follows her feelings because the sketch drawn on the paper is only a small part of the total idea. It changes while the work progresses. Of course, the work changes again after burning. The experience gained over the years allows to create something very close to how it was intended, but occasionally after burning in 1250 degrees there is a moment of surprise. While shaping on a potter’s wheel she likes to polish the object till the perfect proportion, in this way she feels her harmony towards things, it is very important for her. It might seem like a nuance, but she can smoothen the curve of the vase for a long time until she gets the desired result. The shaping on the wheel is like a meditation, it brings her the most joy.

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Maira has created a garden in an open field. She has been researching plants that fit together and now after 15 years of effort she has her own cherished garden with fruit trees, bushes of berries, perennials, rose beds and an integral part of the garden – herb beds. She is fascinated by the transformation of the garden and the garden teaches her to wait patiently. In ceramics she is also searching for new transformations, mixing new shades with motives of plants and dills. It’s an indescribable feeling when she can put rose heads in my bowl of water. At this moment, her work blends with the beauty of the garden. She loves to create such collaborations when she puts herbs or flowers in her pots. It gives strength and inspiration to new and creative ideas.

Her logo is a small golden face, it is a symbol of the memories and experience – the adventure, which is reflected on the compositional drawing on the object. In her works she uses a golden web, a crease with which she wants to show the fragile world, the subtlety, the brilliance that exists in nature and is so important in human relationships. She tries to achieve lightness and airiness in her pottery, which seems to be incompatible with clay, but she is challenging the notions of this sediment. She creates works from stone mass, she uses pigments, glazes and gold..

Drawing dill is to smell it, conjure up memories of summer, when the wonderful aroma of essential oil is released in the hot sun. Maira learns and gets inspired by plants which create a mutual mood and endless colour compositions. The basics of her composition were formed while studying at the Riga Secondary School of Applied Arts – the current Riga Secondary School of Design and Art. They were taught to observe colours in nature, create transitions, rhythms of lines and plant stylizations. She started to create larger works like garden ceramics while studying at the State Academy of Arts with the ceramicist Pēteris Martinsons.

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