Clay as a material is filled with energy that has travelled through ice ages
and gains its final form in the heat of the kiln.
I´m Henriikka Leppänen, ceramics designer and maker from Norh Karelia, Finland.
Clay inspires me and I get ideas by observing and feeling its qualities. My relationship with nature is strong; nature helps me relax and distances me from everyday life whilst it also gives me new ideas and inspirations. I get inspired by the creatures and bugs in the nature, rough surfaces and natural materials.
It’s important for me that a product looks and feels good, is practical whilst also being multi-functional. I wish to create something new where modern and traditional can elegantly meet.
I spent my childhood in Tohmajärvi, in the middle of the forest, right on the eastern border. I have always liked to be in nature, grub in the mud and explore my surroundings. I have learned to make handicrafts since I was little.
I ended up with ceramics after high school when I went to study design and manufacturing at Kankaanpää Institute. Ceramics was one of the materials there and I got so excited about it that I continued to study ceramics design at the Kuopio Academy of Design. I graduated in 2012 with a degree in Designer.
In the beginning I made ceramic tiles and jewelry in my one-room flat kitchenette, dragging objects to be fired tens of miles away. In 2015, I found myself a studio space and was encouraged to start my own business. The company name Kerafiikka (Ceraphics) was born when I combined the words ceramics and graphics. In the beginning I made ceramic graphics, by which I mean printing images on the clay surface using graphic methods. Now I’m inspired with wheelthrowing and making tableware and home decor. Today, Kerafiikka (Ceraphics) means graphic style ceramics.
I want to offer stylish, responsibly manufactured and well-thought-out products that are also good to use. Products made with high craftsmanship skills brings aestethical wellness to everyday living. There is no desire to buy a nature burdening stuff which is made far away.
Craftmanship. Kerafiikka’s all products are made in Joensuu, respecting the principles of sustainable development. I make products by hand, from kneading a clay lump to a finished object. I make products from stoneware clay with food-safe glazes and they are dishwasher safe.
Products with character. The products are handcrafted in small batches, so each item has its own unique handprint. I also make custom products to order according to the customer’s wishes and needs.
I also use local materials such as wood ash and natural clay as a materials for ceramics. In design, I strive for versatility and longevity. I recycle the surplus clay into new clay and I don’t waste materials. I fire products with single firing without biscue firing to minimize energy consumption. The studio, house and water are heated with geothermal energy and the kiln is heated with solar energy.