“Karolina Grudniewska discovered ceramics almost by accident. It all began one Christmas when she found two bags of clay under the Xmas Tree… and once she started playing with it she could not stop.” So begins karoArt’s introduction to her Etsy shop.
Karolina (Karo) moved from Poland to Ireland after a convoluted career path involving starting but not finishing a degree in Graphic Arts, and then completing a BA in English and teaching in Poland. She has now made her home in Dublin for more than a decade.
The bags of clay were given to her by her partner Jacek, who understood her need for a creative outlet after years of being a slave to the “job and school race”, teaching English and then moving to Ireland to work as a florist doing corporate arrangements. After going back to uni to study Interior Architecture, she set up her own freelance interior design business focusing on eco-friendly design solutions, but it still wasn’t enough. Colour, form and texture needed to have a more immediate and practical focus in her life, and discovering clay was an epiphany. Clay was the tactile, blank canvas for all the whimsy and and colour that was inside her.
Cat bowls feature fish and mice, fruit bowls come with bird tracks and soap dishes are in the shape of clouds. She includes the curious and fun – handmade buttons, ornaments and tiles, as well as practical plates and cups. All her work is handformed and decorated with simple repetitive motifs, resulting in pieces that are wonderfully tactile and yet still have a lightness about them with their delicate decoration.
“I find working with clay very intuitive. Once you get the basics, there’s a world of possibilities in front of you. It takes hours and hours of practice, with many trials and many failures, but each broken piece teaches you a lesson. Practice and repetition brought me to proficiency, but I feel like I’m learning a new thing almost every day, and there’s still so much I’d like to discover and learn.”
You can find more of Karo’s ceramics in her Etsy shop, karoArt.