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Ceramics inspired by ancient artistic shapes | Hana Karim

Hana Karim’s passion for ceramics comes from the fact that she grew up in an artist family: his father is a painter and colorist, and her mother’s a ceramist, as well. Although she used to rebel against family patterns, Hana, who originally graduated as an art teacher, was soon captivated by the world of ceramics. The founder of Ljubljana-based HANA KARIM STUDIO told us about her particular color palette, her intuitive shapes, her sources of inspiration and even about jewelry making. 


Hana focuses on hand-made items, her ceramics lack regular shapes, they’re rustic in style and unique in color. She scarcely makes drafts, sudden impulses and rational decisions both characterize her creation process. With an intuitive approach, she makes small ceramic series, mostly gaining inspiration from ancient artistic shapes. 

“Working with something so primal feels like following some ancient tendencies within ourselves; it is a sort of connection with our ancestors, that still haven’t got lost in this age of rapid development and technology. Earth has been here before human beings existed, and will still stay here after we’re gone. It’s remarkable how humankind has found so many ways to manage and transform it,” she pointed out.

He choice of color is also connected to past and nature: her father comes from Kurdistan, from where she brought a special sense of color to her art. “I have lived surrounded by his paintings all my life. Some time ago, I heard that Kurdish people have an amazing sense of color because they are surrounded by such a diverse landscape. I can’t exactly pinpoint what characterizes my palette, but color along with the intuitive shapes are my guiding principles from which I cannot deviate,” elaborated Hana, who’s just moved to her new studio.

It goes without saying that having their own studio is of huge significance in an artist’s life. According to the ceramist, it’s important to have a place for all her necessities, including tools, materials, tables and machines. Of course, keeping a studio neat and tidy requires a lot of extra tasks, but as Hana puts it, “I wouldn’t change it for anything else.”

She’s fascinated by other perspectives of creation, such as jewelry design, which she’s been interested in since her childhood. “Later, when I got caught up in the world of pottery, I realized that ceramics does not exclude other creative aspects: when I think of ceramics, I think about functionality but also fashion, sculpture or industrial design. It’s never been just one thing for me. When I’m taking photos of my work, I usually place colorful products of different sizes and shapes on a white surface in compositions, I’ve used the same process when I was making jewelry,” she explained. 

As for her professional plans, she wants to remain loyal to her philosophy and follow her intuition. She aims to implement as many ideas and seize as many opportunities as possible, regardless of the paths these decisions open up. “I guess working with ceramics has also made me really appreciate the unpredictability of this life. I do want to research the transformations of my work into other non-functional or functional objects. Could they become furniture or paintings? I guess we have to wait and see,” Hana described her next steps. One thing’s for sure: we’re already intrigued by this new possible direction.


Photos: Hana Karim

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