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Fresh Shop: IMKAdesign

May 30, 2013

by Irmina Helak

Etsy.com 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

  • PennyBirchWilliams said 6 years ago 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.

  • babyjives said 6 years ago 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!

  • honeycombstudio said 6 years ago Featured

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

149 comments

  • ZorroPlateado said 6 years ago

    Love your unique stoneware! Congrats on the feature!

  • BozenaWojtaszek said 6 years ago

    Hooray! Bravo Irmina, congrats!

  • MegansMenagerie said 6 years ago

    Beautiful stoneware! Love the unique designs and colors! Congrats to you! :)

  • HansHolzkopf said 6 years ago

    beautiful cups!!! love your design and colors! congrats!

  • AnnaKiper said 6 years ago

    Irmina congrats! I love your ceramics!

  • threecuteflowers said 6 years ago

    lovely shop!!!congrats!

  • bartekd said 6 years ago

    One of my fav shops on etsy! Congrats Irmina!

  • joannafelt said 6 years ago

    Irmina - wow!!! Congrats!

  • daisyremembers said 6 years ago

    Love your technique! Congratulations on the feature, wonderful shop!

  • amberike said 6 years ago

    Love the ceramic stoneware cups.

  • ACupOfSparkle said 6 years ago

    These are adorable. I love the textures and designs. Congratulations!!

  • stacybrown405 said 6 years ago

    Beautiful products and pictures!

  • admspeicher said 6 years ago

    Cool

  • kathyjohnson3 said 6 years ago

    Beautiful designs! Love your shop, congratulations!

  • silke5763 said 6 years ago

    Wonderful to feel your patience and 'try and error' mentality after having worked in glass for long. Congratulations - your work is beautiful !! To see your 'useful' approach is very appealing. Good luck - to the (future) dog, too !!

  • PeonyKnits said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work! Congratulations!!

  • memckeen said 6 years ago

    Your work is gorgeous! Congratulations on the feature!

  • myword38 said 6 years ago

    very pretty

  • jokamin said 6 years ago

    Well done girl, congrats!!!

  • mattyhandmadecrafts said 6 years ago

    Simply perfect! All the best!!!

  • JewelrybyDorothy said 6 years ago

    Beautiful items!

  • richdon1 said 6 years ago

    BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL. I have a collection of polish pottery in my kitchen hutch. Richs dad buys me a few pieces each year for my birthday, Christmas ect. I love it all. What a gorgeous art....

  • genisepark said 6 years ago

    Oh my gosh are those beautiful! Love the colors.

  • DevikaBox said 6 years ago

    Great job Irmina!! Congrats! :))

  • ErinAntiques said 6 years ago

    The colors are so beautiful! Congrats on the feature :)

  • Ghadah1 said 6 years ago

    Beautiful! It's actually one of my favourite shops on Etsy!

  • CoquetteBath said 6 years ago

    very lovely work! And something totally new and different. Love it!

  • omydesigns said 6 years ago

    Oh it's wonderful to see you featured here! I've loved your shop from the moment I discovered it months back :) Wishing you lots of success!

  • LivingVintage said 6 years ago

    Wonderful designs! Congrats.

  • WeddingLab said 6 years ago

    wow, amazing work!!!

  • FireIslandSoap said 6 years ago

    Something about the first photo is very reminiscent of everlasting gobstoppers :) keep up the great work!

  • PotteryHeaven said 6 years ago

    The design and use of color is fabulous! Keep up the good work!

  • NicolasKnitKnacks said 6 years ago

    Oh wow so many different styles, they're all amazing but I really love the webbed design cups!!

  • LittleGussy said 6 years ago

    Just a gorgeous shop and unique ceramics. Congrats on the feature. Xxx

  • themefragrance said 6 years ago

    Loved reading about your process - your pieces are beautiful!

  • jessgreenleaf said 6 years ago

    Beautiful pieces- I love the idea of clay being in layers. Reminds me of eating jawbreakers!

  • BloomsburyVintage said 6 years ago

    lovely work!

  • AlisaDesign said 6 years ago

    FANTASTIC WORK ! ; ) Congratulations !

  • BirchAndWillow said 6 years ago

    The first words that come to mind when browsing through your article/pictures is "lovely work." The detail and attention you give each piece shows and it is truly an inspiration!

  • lauraprilltoo said 6 years ago

    delightful work, best wishes to you Irmina :)

  • deekish said 6 years ago

    Very unique and interesting ceramics! Love your shop.

  • agebo said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work! Each one is like a piece of art. Congrats on the feature!

  • FiveOClocks said 6 years ago

    Amazing works! Great job Irmina :)

  • BrotherWorks said 6 years ago

    YES< YES< YES< Imka now you're the best!

  • BrandiaManufacture said 6 years ago

    Beautiful !!! Go Imka !!!

  • lilyblueboston said 6 years ago

    Love it!! congrats!

  • JudyBFreeman said 6 years ago

    Wonderful feature. Beautiful designs. Fabulous!!!!

  • gescate said 6 years ago

    fresh design! congratulations!

  • katarzynaherniczek said 6 years ago

    Amazing workshop! Beautiful ceramic works! I'm impressed!:)

  • seasidecloth said 6 years ago

    Cute shop !

  • ShoShanaArt said 6 years ago

    Fantastic! Congrats Irmina !!

  • MrsGingerandWasabi said 6 years ago

    Congrats on the feature, your shop is lovely!

  • peonyandthistle said 6 years ago

    Love your work! Beautiful!

  • PennyBirchWilliams said 6 years ago 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.

  • sewella said 6 years ago

    Amazing work and well deserved feature! I wish you loads of success!

  • DonKatChaLLC said 6 years ago

    Fantastic work. Congrats on the feature.

  • superveshmashina said 6 years ago

    lovely and inspiring! congratulations!

  • matildecanepagonzale said 6 years ago

    Irmina love the stoneware! your pieces beautiful, congrats I have also worked stoneware and is fantastic! Bravo with your shop

  • imkadesign said 6 years ago

    Thank You all :) i really appreciate Yours support :)

  • imkadesign said 6 years ago

    Thank You all :) i really appreciate it

  • CharmingShopLove said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work. I'm completely mesmerized by all the design choices. They're so unique and unlike anything I've ever seen. The colours are fantastic too. Congratulations on your feature!

  • patspottery said 6 years ago

    Congrats on the feature! Your designs are wonderful and fresh♥

  • DivineByDeidre said 6 years ago

    Great story and beautiful work!!

  • NirvanaRoad said 6 years ago

    Love your shop!

  • VintageResolution said 6 years ago

    Such beautiful pieces! Congrats on the feature, it's well deserved!

  • natureguild said 6 years ago

    very pretty work

  • hmmills said 6 years ago

    Your designs are so funky...(is that still a word ;). congrats on the feature....

  • catarinamonteiro1 said 6 years ago

    Love your work. I appreciate it! Thanks for sharing such beautiful pieces!

  • minipotterybyanita said 6 years ago

    I'm always tickled when pottery/ceramics are featured. (Guess I'm a little prejudiced!) These are lovely, exciting designs! Amazing what can be made with nondescript earth! CONGRATS and Thanks for the "working" photos. I really enjoy seeing other people's shops and how they create. ♥♥♥

  • GeorgieGirlLLC said 6 years ago

    Unique pieces, such beautiful work! Great interview! Congratulations!!!

  • babyjives said 6 years ago 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!

  • romyandclare said 6 years ago

    Gorgeous work! Congratulations!

  • WoodrockTurning said 6 years ago

    Oh Wow!! It's so pretty!!

  • thebaubledept said 6 years ago

    Wow, what beautiful colors and textures! Absolutely gorgeous work. I love your aesthetic.

  • beautybarbaby said 6 years ago

    Just Lovely!

  • Maeg8 said 6 years ago

    Congratulations on the feature! I love all of your ceramics and will be looking in the future. The mugs first shown remind me of jawbreakers and look fantastic.!

  • dominna said 6 years ago

    Good luck. Your cups and bowls will brighten up even monday mornings. This story reminded me that we have to surrond us with beautiful, heart-felt things. Lets leave ''Made in China'' to someone else.

  • Parachute425 said 6 years ago

    What a unique technique. Beautiful! Congrats on a well deserved feature and best of luck to you.

  • SavannahGuz said 6 years ago

    Wow! Really beautiful work, and such great studio photographs--it's so great to see your process. Congratulations on the feature!

  • emily8150 said 6 years ago

    lovely and cute ceramics , and like their patern and color and your designs . light blue and green or cream brown ..... hope your dream or plan will realize . and will see the pitures of your sleeping dog worker !

  • chanterstationery said 6 years ago

    Congratulations! You have such an appealing shop and such fresh new ideas that are truly unique. All the best to you!

  • michellequarterschap said 6 years ago

    Such beautiful and unique pieces!

  • silverlily786 said 6 years ago

    I love the whimsy, color, and unique technique of your pieces. Gorgeous!

  • ThreeBarDGifts said 6 years ago

    How pretty! You have a great talent! May it bring you much success! Congrats on the feature!

  • foxpots said 6 years ago

    Lovely work!

  • Iammie said 6 years ago

    Love your work! Congrats!

  • HouseOfMoss said 6 years ago

    Your technique is like none I've ever seen before! I am now pretty much obsessed with the beauty of the bowls and cups that you've sanded down to reveal the layers underneath. Congratulations on being featured, and I wish you lots of success!

  • WomanShopsWorld said 6 years ago

    Yayyyy Irmina!!!! So exciting for you! CONGRATS, may this bring you sooo much success. Very much deserved ;-)

  • Sleepwellfamily said 6 years ago

    Love love love this pottery! Very interesting and unique process. Thanks for the story. :)

  • ESTATENOW said 6 years ago

    Love them ALL, Beautiful Designs, Classic!!

  • BeaconMills said 6 years ago

    I'm curious about the origins of the name for your business, IMKA. You don't offer any explanation (not that you have to). I like your design for it though. Nice work.

  • COMERARTGALLERY said 6 years ago

    Wow, your coffee mug designs just make me want to hold one and feel the patterns on them! Wonderful work Irmina! I hope you get your own studio and large table someday soon.

  • aressa said 6 years ago

    Your work is lovely...Very unique...I have never seen coffee cups created like yours ....Love the texture and designs of the exterior... Very nice!

  • pinksnakejewelry said 6 years ago

    Wonderful Post!! Beautiful Creations!!

  • tonillion said 6 years ago

    Very beautiful!

  • lauramazzariol1 said 6 years ago

    Congrats! You make beautiful items!

  • theindiehandmade said 6 years ago

    Your work give a sense of peace. Beautiful pieces and wonderful studio! Congrats!

  • foong said 6 years ago

    Your items are very beautiful!

  • CenteredClayWorks said 6 years ago

    How great to read an article about you, Irmina. I've been admiring your work for some time. I love how you've taken your glass background and translated it over to clay.

  • realfaery said 6 years ago

    Wow, I really admire the peace coming through your work shop. Congrats!

  • Revisions said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work Irmina! I love everything!!! Best of luck to you in your career.

  • seabreezestore said 6 years ago

    Congrats Irmina! Your work is amazing!!!!

  • nastasja85 said 6 years ago

    !!! GORGEOUS WORK !!! CONGRATS !!! :)

  • kadydesigns said 6 years ago

    Beautiful!!! Congrats on being featured!!!

  • ThePolkadotMagpie said 6 years ago

    Loooove your work. Great design incorporating glass techniques into ceramics. Bravo!

  • OneClayBead said 6 years ago

    Your work is enchanting! I love the unique process and the beautiful results.

  • AMWatelier said 6 years ago

    Irmina congrats!

  • molMolly said 6 years ago

    Cudne rzeczy robisz ! wonderful work!

  • thelandlockedsailor said 6 years ago

    This is amazing! I am just learning to use with multi-colored clays myself, and making swirlies by stripping away the surface layers. :) Beautiful work. Some of those pieces make me hungry for jawbreakers! {Her}

  • juliescheffer1 said 6 years ago

    I love the unique designs you have made, your process looks like so much fun. Congrats Julie

  • byjodi said 6 years ago

    Such beautiful work and a perfect feature! Congrats Irmina!!

  • emberair said 6 years ago

    I love these!

  • lilliankn said 6 years ago

    I like your design and it's very pretty good. Amazing work!!!

  • Chillionaire said 6 years ago

    Beautiful!

  • calamaycarvings said 6 years ago

    Lovely work! I so love your approach and the process you shared. Best of luck as you build your business!

  • DonnaRoberge said 6 years ago

    Love your work Irmina, very unique. Good luck in your shop!

  • mmerrittdesigns said 6 years ago

    Gorgeous work! I can see the painstaking effort you put into each piece.

  • glitterandstones said 6 years ago

    Beautiful! Love the ceramic items.

  • marysullivanpierce said 6 years ago

    This is stunning pieces. The soft pastels add to the richness of your artistic and contemporary designs.

  • ASParkerJewellery said 6 years ago

    Amazing ceramics!! :D x

  • Pixie2428 said 6 years ago

    Your stoneware is beautiful ! Very nice photos.

  • H88255 said 6 years ago

    Wonderful items! Congrats on the feature!

  • peterzaitsev said 6 years ago

    I love it! Thank you very much! Beautiful hands!

  • peterzaitsev said 6 years ago

    Your items are very beautiful!

  • BonTons said 6 years ago

    Gorgeous pieces!

  • msddesign said 6 years ago

    Just beautiful, unique pieces-Well done!

  • FranceGallery said 6 years ago

    Lovely designs!

  • honeycombstudio said 6 years ago Featured

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

  • farandtwee said 6 years ago

    love the textures and the uniqueness. refreshing to see.

  • parimastudio said 6 years ago

    Beautiful, beautiful work!!

  • sarahmoon503 said 6 years ago

    really love the colors you use!!

  • artgirl59 said 6 years ago

    I love your work. When I need ceramics I'll come to you! I hope you get your studio so you can have your dog with you!!

  • kingspar said 6 years ago

    beautiful product!! Thank you for all you do!

  • pumpkiandmo said 6 years ago

    Very inventive ideas! Super nice colours, fitting late spring and summer! Good luck!

  • imkadesign said 6 years ago

    One more time Thank You all :) It's pleasure to be here in the Etsy blog fresh shops section :)

  • lmouer said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work! Congrats!

  • nativestrandsjewelry said 6 years ago

    I love all the pictures of the design/creation process for the ceramics.

  • OliCreations said 6 years ago

    Beautiful and very unique!

  • lecker94 said 6 years ago

    Love this!

  • SHM2013 said 6 years ago

    Nicely done! I really enjoy your work.

  • ArtMika said 6 years ago

    Great Irma;-) I'm very proud of you;-)

  • Nemki said 6 years ago

    Beautiful- they remind me of pebbles on a beach.

  • MinaMinette said 6 years ago

    Wow...I don't know what else to say. Wow!

  • LaurasHandmadeGifts

    Laura from LaRoHandmades said 6 years ago

    Wow, i really love your work! Beautiful and unique! Well done :)

  • IrinaArtSmi

    Irina smilansky from IrinaSmilansky said 6 years ago

    very nice shop

  • IrinaArtSmi

    Irina smilansky from IrinaSmilansky said 6 years ago

    Beautiful!!

  • LoveButtons

    Julia K Walton from FireHorseVintageHQ said 6 years ago

    What an interesting and beautiful technique! Congratulations on the feature :)

  • grannyjack

    Jackie from GrannyJack said 6 years ago

    Combining spots and coffee is pure genius.

  • irishprintmakers

    irishprintmakers from irishprintmakers said 6 years ago

    piekne! gratuluje! Marta

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