Lokal Creators / Katy Hertell

Katy Hertell is a sculptor living in Helsinki. She has worked with primarily ceramics, stoneware and earthenware, since the early 90’s. She draws inspiration from Eastern and Greek mythology, from the animal world, from children and from Nature, in creating hand-built sculptures. Many know her unique Luonnonsuojelija (Nature Protector) sculptures, which double as flower pots containing a piece of the land. Katy is the mother of Lokal’s founder, Katja Hagelstam, and it has been our pleasure to have the works of a third generation presented at our gallery. These photos accompanied by a short interview are from a recent visit to her at her studio at the Cable Factory in Helsinki.

Lokal Creators / Katy Hertell

Katy Hertell is a sculptor living in Helsinki. She has worked with primarily ceramics, stoneware and earthenware, since the early 90’s. She draws inspiration from Eastern and Greek mythology, from the animal world, from children and from Nature, in creating hand-built sculptures. Many know her unique Luonnonsuojelija (Nature Protector) sculptures, which double as flower pots containing a piece of the land. Katy is the mother of Lokal’s founder, Katja Hagelstam, and it has been our pleasure to have the works of a third generation presented at our gallery. These photos accompanied by a short interview are from a recent visit to her at her studio at the Cable Factory in Helsinki.

Lokal: From where do you draw your inspiration for your works?

Katy: “I get my inspiration from Nature, especially animals. I feel we have so much to learn from the animals that in many ways are wiser than us humans.”

L: What are some important principles in your creative process?

K: “It’s important to me to be totally present when I work, which functions best when I’m alone in the studio. Then I can work very intuitively, and just let the clay find the way.”

L: Do you have a relationship to your works as individual pieces?

K: “Some works do become important to me personally, especially when I feel satisfied with what I’ve created.”

L: What lead you to working with ceramics? What significance does the material have in your practice?

K: “Having tried other materials like stone, wood and concrete, I ended up working with clay, which I feel is a living material. I am fascinated by the possibilities that clay offers, and the unpredictability of the material. When starting something new, I seldom have a clear picture of what it is I want to create. I trust that the clay knows. After the firing, the ready piece is at first glance a surprise, to which one has to get used to – and either accept or reject.”

Shop: Katy Hertell’s Works

Explore: Lokal Creators

Lokal Creators / Fanny Tavastila

Fanny Tavastila is a painter who lives and works in Helsinki. We visited her studio at the Cable Factory one dark November afternoon to get a closer look at her works, which posess an innate and lyrical sense of colour, rhythm, texture and composition.

Lokal Creators / Hanni Koroma

Hanni Koroma is an award-winning Finnish interior architect and furniture designer. In her work, Koroma combines functionality and aesthetics into timeless entities where her philosophic values in sustainable and playful design meet. Koroma says that space is like a poem that evolves constantly. Her new Lohkoja cabinets are centrepieces of our summer exhibition Butterflies & Seeds. 

Lokal Creators / Minna Arponen

Minna Arponen is a jewellery designer and maker from Helsinki. Recently, she’s been fascinated by the tiny glass beads that she used to play with in her childhood. We visited her studio where most of her pieces take form, if not in her lap on tram rides through the city.

Lokal Creators / Pan Jianfeng

Pan Jianfeng is a conceptual artist working predominately with paper and ink. His background and techniques are rooted in tradition, but his works are strong and contemporary. We visited his home studio one early spring afternoon to learn more about his works in our Year of the Rabbit exhibition.