Meet Hana Karim and Janža Dolinšek, our designers of freedom
After the amazing Poke Studio team, BIG BERRY Kolpa River was more than happy to welcome our second participants in the BB Product Design Project of the 2018 season: Hana Karim and Janža Dolinšek, two talented designers of ceramics and pottery. The three days we spent with them were used to observe them and talk about their fantastic work.
For the last ten months, Janža has been a ceramics designer apprentice in Hana’s studio in Ljubljana. A new career path that she took along her own brand called JNŽ. She has a background in graphic design and visual communications, but she never felt comfortable in that field. Pottery gave her the opportunity to express herself more freely.
Hana has been an experienced ceramics designer for approximately ten years now. She can’t even remember when her passion for it started. She works almost everyday in her studio in the center of Ljubljana with Janža at her side. In the last four years, her brand Hana Karim Design developed from a total jewelry focused brand to pottery. Now they make plates, mugs and many other things.
Having them in BIG BERRY gave us the opportunity to witness a true passion. Pottery is about not always knowing what’s going to happen next. It’s the same feeling as when you’re a freelancer. A philosophy of not always knowing where your life is going to take you. “Even being here in BIG BERRY and experiencing this project in person is one of those things that can only happen when you relax and let everything around you go with the flow”. Through their art, they can express themselves because at the beginning “you just have a piece of mud and then you can do whatever you want with it. This means to have freedom as a designer”. It’s more than creating just beautiful objects out of mud; they are creating their own freedom by doing whatever they want and how they want it.
Hana and Janža didn’t come to BIG BERRY alone. They also brought the “Whisperer”, their pottery wheel, on its first trip outside the studio. A fantastic, but not their main tool! For a pottery maker, the main tool are the hands and the main material is the clay. The pottery wheel is just used as an extension to the designer's know-how. Hands give it the real feeling: “the shapes are created through your personal touch and out of your heart and your mind".
Hands, mud, pottery wheel and many other tools are used to make crazy projects. For Janža, being here at BIG BERRY was her first big and crazy experience as a ceramics designer. She felt like she was on a workation. Hana told us that people come to her studio with lots of crazy ideas. Sometimes they want very personalized things, such as a glamorous cat bowl or an urn for the ashes of a deceased dog. Both of them want to make a reality show about these requests. “Most of the time people don’t know what they want or how to express their thoughts,it makes things even more interesting!”
During their stay in BIG BERRY, both of them liked the fact that is not place in any urban environment. Just the opportunity to enjoy the quiet place with bird singing and the nature. They miss nature sometimes when they are Ljubljana. Nature is like home. It’s giving inspiration and peace.
Hana’s impression describe best how much this collaboration felt natural for all involved: “When this pottery wheel was brought in this space, between these two beautiful trees, overlooking the river… dreams are made of this. If I had to pick a place to create it would be here”.
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