The Etsy Blog

Fresh Shop: IMKAdesign handmade and vintage goods

Every day, our community grows in unexpected and delightful ways. For our Fresh Shops series, sellers who have been on Etsy for a handful of months or are waiting for those first few sales introduce themselves. Here’s a warm welcome to all our newbies!

My name is Irmina Helak and I run IMKAdesign. I live and work in Wroclaw, Poland. After graduating from the Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw, I wanted to to stay in the city, where I felt at home and had friends, and build a career as an independent artist. To start my professional life, I went in with three colleagues and rented a shared atelier.


My original plan was to work in glass (since I specialized in lamp working techniques), but I found myself drawn to ceramics. As a designer of useful objects, the fact that I could make something on my own (without having to send it to glassblowers at a glassworks) was very appealing.


Although I hadn’t worked in ceramics before, I had observed colleagues studying ceramics at the Academy of Art and Design and assumed that clay would be an easy material to work with. (That was incorrect!) I began an arduous phase of testing and learning through trial and error to bring my ideas to life.


Since I had been working in glass for many years, glass techniques became an inspiration for me when I started to work in ceramics. Step by step, I found the way to use techniques like millefiori and carving multi-layered glass in creating porcelain and stoneware pieces.


All of the colors in my pieces are created by hand-tinting the clay. I use pure pigments and oxides as well as my own mixes, allowing me to create a wide range of colors. Each product is made by hand by me in my atelier, and finished with hand-drawn mark.


While some of my pieces are similar, each is truly one of a kind — made with care and attention to the smallest detail. They may look simple, but the are the result of a unique idea mixed with long hours of work and patience.


The more I work, the more inspiration I find. It’s hard to find the time to realize all the ideas I come up with, but I hope to design and accomplish as many projects as possible while working as an independent artist. I’m dreaming of a larger atelier all my own, hopefully complete with a table big enough for a dog to sleep underneath. Then he could come with me to work!

All photos by Magdalena Oczad?y, courtesy of IMKAdesign.

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3 Featured Comments

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  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams says: Featured

    I love the colored layers and carving technique you use on your ceramics. It's very unique and interesting. They look very tactile and make me want to hold them and feel all the texture variations. Not too heavy looking nor too delicate...just right for everyday use. And quite beautiful too! I wish you great success in your business and here on etsy! Best of luck to you.

    2 years ago

  • babyjives

    Jahje from BabyJivesCo says: Featured

    I just stumbled across your shop the other day and fell in love. Such amazing work and I love reading here about how you developed the technique coming from glass. Thanks for sharing, your shop is on my list of must get work!

    2 years ago

  • honeycombstudio

    Courtney Hamill from honeycombstudio says: Featured

    Love hearing about self-taught/multidisciplinary approaches to anything, but especially ceramics. pure creativity in action!

    2 years ago