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.