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Vaidava Ceramics - Made by Hand

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Vaidava's stunning ceramics are all manufactured on site in their workshop in Latvia's picturesque Vaidava region, located in central Vidzeme. This proud, family owned business has been involved in ceramics manufacture for over 35 years, and employ about 15 skilled artisans who produce the tableware, all by hand.

Keeping things simple, every summer clay is quarried from a nearby lake, washed, filtered and extruded to get the specific characteristics of the clay that Vaidava's artisans, under the owner, Miks' exacting standards, require to produce their unique products.

Once the clay has the correct characteristics, it is mixed with water until it reaches the correct consistency for wheel throwing or forming. Bowls are then created by 'jiggering'. That is, a profile is often used to force the clay against a rotating plaster mold. The mould is then left to rest and once the clay becomes leathery it is removed from the form. The edges of the bowl are then trimmed, levelled and wiped smooth with a wet sponge.

Slip casting may also be used. Like jiggering, this too requires a plaster mold. In this process, liquid clay is poured into the mold. The plaster walls of the mold absorb the excess moisture, leaving behind a clay form. Within a relatively short time, the clay is firm enough to be removed from the mold, which can then be dried out and re-used.

Regardless of the technique, the products are then hand polished to remove and close the tiniest clay pores thus making the surface watertight and resistant to staining.

The pieces then undergo their first kiln firing. Once this has been done, the glaze is then applied. For the Earth range this is done by hand by pouring the glaze into the bowl or mug. The glaze is then carefully wiped off the edges exposing the clay rim. The products are then ready for their final firing at temperatures up to 1,035 degrees Celsius. 

The final product is then packaged in its own individual box.

From start to finish, the entire production process for one ceramic bowl is two weeks, done by hand the entire way!

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