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Podusēta - Handmade Rustic Charm

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

We fell in love with Latvia's Podusēta ceramics at first sight. The individual rustic charm of each piece is something truly special and unique, but so is the craftsmanship behind each piece. How does Podusēta's founder Aiga make her pieces?

Each piece starts as a lump of clay, which needs to be carefully weighed then formed into a solid, smooth piece before it can be further worked. Even this isn't that simple, as a single air bubble will ruin

the final product. Aiga uses only Latvian clay in her workshop.

Aiga then forms each product by hand. No pottery lathes or other mechanical implements are used during this time consuming process. Once the products have been allowed to dry, they are individually polished using a smooth pebble. The polishing process gives each piece its individual identity - a combination of the smooth marks and rustic hewn charm.

Polishing process complete, the wood fired kiln is loaded with the individual pieces. The temperature in the kiln needs to climb to 1,050 degrees celsius and then the temperature maintained for at least 12 hours (this in itself is a labour intensive exercise, regulating the temperature and stoking the woodfire over the duration). Then the cooling, or reduction phase starts. The kiln is entirely bricked off and left to cool for at least another 12-24 hours. During this time the metal components in the clay start to oxidise, turning the pieces black. The kiln is then uncovered and unpacked once the temperature returns to normal.

The final step in the process is to coat each piece with a mixture of hot oil and beeswax. This coating moisture proofs the piece, making it completely water tight. The intensive baking process, followed by the cooling and coating processes makes the products dishwasher safe... If you can let them out of your sight that is!

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