June 18, 2024


Art Shines Through

Solving Problems With Clay | Kadri Kunnus | Episode 873

Kadri Kunnus | Episode 873

There is something special about a handmade mug that breaks the mundane madness and connects you to the artist, and through it, to the moment where you recognize the love and beauty of life. It’s those moments Kadri Kunnus makes pottery.


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Unless you had your eyes open with an assignment do you think you would have come to the same conclusion that there was a way to solve a problem in the world with clay?

Who knows? I feel like these last years have become so full of surprises and lucky coincidences and all these random things that I have no idea really, if I would even be in ceramics had I not moved to the countryside, had I continued my work which I loved, but still I don’t know. I really don’t know.

When you started to realize there was a problem how did you go about searching for the answers?

Well it was right at the same time when we were having our first lectures in this product design subject in school and we actually have a structure of how we write together and how we explore and how we investigate, like this product development process. When I had broken my arm it was the same time I had to brain storm for my homework, all these ideas. And one plus one, I have a broken arm, I need ideas. Of course you only think about your arm and all these ideas kept circling around it. I had broken my arm before in my childhood so I remembered the feeling and what it was like and also that it’s not so rare, especially in Estonia when it gets icy in the winter. I googled all kinds of illnesses and traumas people can have with their arms and I looked up statistics of how many people there are in the world and our Western society is becoming older and more ill. So I realized this is a  growing market or target. Of course, I hope that I can really make a difference in some of these people’s lives.

Did you start with a pen and paper? Or pencil and pad?

Yes, we did one in a group and we all did one ourselves at home or where ever and I would take my pen and notepad with me all the time and when I had an idea I would scribble it down. And I would take an hour or so and map down ideas intensively and obviously because I was studying ceramics it circled around different dishes and tableware.

How did you start the making process? Did you start with clay and the idea an d just see what you could make?

Yes. there was a struggle because instructions were to first make sketches and then try out in clay but I’m not a very good drawer or sketch maker and I really, really wanted to just sketch in clay, you know. So I kind of didn’t tell anyone and started experimenting. I asked my course mate how to throw on the wheel and the first time I sat down on it I saw the clay going around in circles and I was hypnotized, of course I am going to throw the plates. I don’t know how I’m going to do it but I am definitely going to do it.

How did you find people to test your work?

If you are talking about the adaptive plates, it’s very important, it’s crucial because I only broke my hand and I was fully recovered in a couple of months but there are people who are living with diseases that are getting worse every year and it’s crucial for them to test it and give me feedback and maybe there’s things that I have missed and there is a different way that they can use it. How I found them I just again googled different associations and just wrote to them.


The Mid-Range Glazes by John Britt


Instagram: @kadrikunnuspottery