Eva Spoof creates ceramic artefacts from Kultela wild clay at her Udumbara Studio & Showroom in Helsinki. She has been creating with clay since she graduated with a degree in Ceramics from Kuopio Academy of Design in 1990 and believes today’s world calls for unique, carefully crafted and ethically made art.

The quaint studio’s foreign-sounding name isn’t just fun to say – the meaning guides Eva Spoof’s work and workshops she hosts at her atelier: “Udumbara comes from Buddhism; plainly, it means ‘no sorrow’ or ‘an auspicious flower from heaven’ in Sanskrit. I don’t prescribe to any one -ism, although Buddhism has taught me many things, including meditation, which is a practice I share, alongside teaching the ceramic wheel, at mindfulness retreats at the studio.”

Udumbara Studio & Showroom: Ceramic art rooted in Finnish soil

Eva Spoof’s studio – Udumbara. Photo: Udumbara Studio & Showroom

Eva Spoof has been an artisan ceramicist since the 1990s but what helped her craft her own style was the discovery of Finnish clay in 1999. She was introduced to the material by the owner of Kultela Brick Factory, Arvo Kankare. At the time, few people used it to create ceramics – no one made flowerpots. She now exclusively works with wild clay, creating flowerpots, lamps, and sculptures.

Spoof’s career and early life have seen her live in the United States, study in Sweden and Denmark and even work in China to manufacture wine coolers, but in her own studio, with her hands on a piece of Finnish clay, turning on a wheel, is where she feels at ease: “I have worked with clay for over 30 years, and I’m still honing my craft. In today’s hectic world, doing something with your hands, literally touching dirt, can be a grounding experience.”

Udumbara Studio & Showroom: Ceramic art rooted in Finnish soil

Spoof creates elaborate green sculptures. Photo: Huy Trầ n Quang

Spoof has, along with using wild clay, made other conscious changes and choices in her art to produce ethical pieces. From gathering recycled materials to package her sculptures in, to opting not to make saucers for her flowerpots: “I made hundreds of plates at the start of my career but I now recognise the world is full of beautiful, carefully crafted plates that you can buy from a charity shop for pennies. Why would I make more?”

Spoof works at her studio and offers workshops and mindfulness retreats in English. You can come to see her pottery at Udumbara by making an appointment, visiting furniture store Artek in Helsinki city centre, or if travelling to Finland proves challenging, House of Sustainable Things in London carries her creations.

Udumbara Studio & Showroom: Ceramic art rooted in Finnish soil

Eva Spoof at her studio, showing one of her planters. Photo: Barbara Kaucher

Web: www.udumbara.fi
Instagram: @udumbara_helsinki
YouTube: UDUMBARA_Helsinki
Facebook: udumbara_helsinki

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