PEOPLE AND PLACES n°1: Hana Karim
A young designer Hana Karim who has been impressing us from the very beginning. She began with jewellery design, now she continues with pottery. We asked her where she gets her inspiration from and how it all began. As for how she connects her work with interior design and what else she will attempt in the future, you may read about it in the interview!
1. Who and what got you excited about work with clay?
My mother Silva, of course, was and always will be my first teacher. She is a ceramist and
a professor of visual arts in elementary school, so I was surrounded by all kinds of materials since I was a child, and my mother has always encouraged the love of culture and creativity in her children. As a child I wanted to become a sculptress most of all. Me and clay have always been close.
2. What is your everyday inspiration for design?
Inspiration mostly finds me by itself. Sometimes interesting colour combinations, which I find in the most ordinary things, are enough. Even during a walk around the city, a person encounters lots of exciting stimuli that inspire thoughts towards design.
3. You started with jewellery design and continued with ceramics? How did this move happen?
At a point, I felt that I had somehow drained myself in terms of jewellery design, that I told everything I had to tell. At the same time, I had just started to explore pottery. The move was painful, but I kept the medium of expression, which, in turn, offered me completely new challenges.
4. Have you ever tried to design with any other medium?
Ceramics itself is my primary medium and an eternal challenge, so I probably will never get tired of it. By now I already know what excites me as a creator and always return to these approaches. However, after all, the most exciting factor is still this eternal journey to the unknown, which, at the same, time is still my favourite part of creation.
5. Do you follow and adhere to design trends in ceramics, or do you set new challenges for yourself?
I think that today it's difficult to be "outside of trend" - the world we live in persistently bombards us with visual stimuli and at times we enter a trend unconsciously. For example, I see at home that, suddenly, I have monstera. And the acclaimed "millennial pink", also known as "pale pink", has snuck into my saucers. Of course, the aforementioned inspiration and ceramics itself are always asking me new questions, from which an original idea, unburdened by the outside world, is born too.
6. You are also abroad often, is there a different attitude to ceramics and handmade items than in our country out there?
I think that this difference isn't there anymore. Even years ago, when I started a professional career with ceramics, the attitude towards handmade items was much more lukewarm here than outside the border. Nowadays, I am glad that the support has become independent of the location. This was due to several factors, primarily the efforts of many domestic designers, who, through their quality work, contribute to the transformation of the attitude towards handmade items.
7. Which is your favourite piece that you have designed up to now?
I would find it truly difficult to decide - sometimes I am very fond of a cracked, slightly deformed piece.
8. Did you furnish the studio yourself? Did this flexible layout present a problem in design?
Fortunately, there were already some very useful elements in the studio, and I brought some furniture myself, with the help of my friend Mark Forte. I liked the layout of the rooms and I'm glad that, by pure chance, it is perfectly excellent for a ceramic studio.
9. It is important for you to feel well in the space in which you design, and what do you find crucial in the interior, for it to be so?
The studio in which I create must reflect my personal aesthetics and be filled with objects that inspire me or enthuse me in some way or other. I like that it has a bright front space which is energetic - the very fact that it is turned towards a lively street of the Ljubljana centre gives it a special urban charm. At the same time, the back spaces are still, quiet, somewhat distant from everyday hustle and bustle. This is also the space for the pottery spindle, which requires more focus and concentration. It is also important for people who visit the studio to feel comfortable and at home in it, which is especially true for visitors of my workshops.
10. What do you consider to be the most indispensable piece of furniture, without which you can not be in a studio or at home?
The table in the studio is huge and has an extreme utility value. At the same time, I can "unwind" or create on it; allows me to take a step or two away from the products, look at them as a whole. Even when the ceramic is freshly out of the furnace, I usually display it on this table to do another round or two. And, last but not least, we meet around the table for workshops. At home - of course - a table is essential!
11. Would you dare to use the colours you use in the design of ceramics also in your apartment e.g. walls, larger pieces of furniture?
For sure. In the studio, white and natural colour of wood prevail, and even for the walls, I want them to be as empty as possible. Therefore, I love to fill shelves, both at home and in the studio, with countless small objects - pottery, sculptures, vases, plants. The little things have always inspired me a lot more, which is where my love for jewellery and small plastic in general comes from.
12. How could ceramics, in your opinion, be a part of interior design, besides being a decoration?
For a long time now, I want to create a small table - with a ceramic surface and metal or wooden legs. I would not stray too far from the saucers I am currently working on - I would just like to have a bigger saucer that could serve as a table.
13. Have you ever thought about designing a piece of furniture out of clay?
In addition to the aforementioned table, I am also tempted to design a lamp. I hope to do this soon.
14. Could you, for your style of design, find parallels with any of the interior design styles?
Possibly. But I prefer not to, so that I wouldn't overly label myself. :)