I’m 26 years old textile crafts -teacher student. I have been studying since 2004 at the University of Helsinki. Now I’m doing my Masters Thesis about mini textiles (textile art) and if everything goes well I will graduate next spring. My main interests are textile art, ceramics and films. Textile art I have been studying as a minor subject at the School of Art and Design Helsinki (now it is part of Aalto-University). I feel that the line between crafts and arts is very small. At my education I have learned a lot about craft tradition concerning textiles. Now I want to deeper my knowledge of crafts also outside “the textile field”. I feel that to be a good textile crafts teacher I must know also about other craft traditions. Ceramics can give lots of inspiration to textile design. To this workshop -the subject is folk patterns in ceramics of European nations-  I find the subject very interesting. There are folk patterns as well in textiles and I’m curious to see how they are in ceramics. I’m also waiting to meet new people from around the Europe and share and learn from their experiences of making ceramics.

I have done ceramics as a hobby in two periods. When I was 10-17 I went Art school for Children and Young people in my hometown Hyvinkää. There and also in school I did a lot of ceramics and enjoyed the making process. Now this autumn I had opportunity to start again this dear hobby at the Adult Education centre in my hometown now, Turku. Now when I’m getting “older “ and I have studied at the University I have started to think my hobby more as a historical link to the lives of people in the past. I red few years ago an interesting article about experimental archaeology and about one research project where they figured out how the people in the Artic region had made their cooking pots without firing them (they used seal oil and blood to strengthen the clay!). That is history far behind -the tradition of ceramics has been important part of developing the culture history of mankind. And the history continues today -we live in a modern society -but we still need pots and plates to eat. It would be great thing to learn more about ceramic traditions in here Europe and to have perhaps little bit more newish information about ceramic tradition and folk patterns than the Artic pot making tradition.

I have once before visited Kuresaare. It was year 2000 and I was just finished the ground school. We did an excursion of one week there with the Arts School I already mentioned. The purpose of that trip was to try stone carving and to study the stone carving tradition in Estonia and Kuresaare. I remember the great castle made of the same stone we tried to carve and also the incredible stone relief’s inside the castle. It was really concrete learning process -to try to carve the stone, see what other students could make out of it and to see what the great artists had done of it. I (and almost all the others too) was frustrated with my piece of stone because the process was so slow and demanding. Afterwards I realised how important it was to try this carving process -it was great communal experience with my friends in Arts school and after the experience I understood so much better the art of stone carving and making relief’s.  As I looked the programme of the workshop about ceramics now in January 2011 I was happy to see that there is again this great combination of practices and theory. It is best way to learn. And as I have been writing is this letter -I’m very much willing to learn about the ceramic tradition in Estonia and in other parts of Europe - in both ways: by making and in theory.