Life of Heini Riitahuhta
Heini Riitahuhta (1975) is a ceramic artist and a designer. Her distinctive style has brought vibrant, floral patterns to Arabia products for more than 2 decades. She is one of the most internationally recognised artists of Finnish contemporary ceramic art.
She got her first touch of clay in her teenage years during an art school class in California where she was living with her family. Modelling clay fascinated Heini so much that she applied to study at the Wetterhof School of Arts and Design in the Ceramic and Glass Department.
As a talented ceramist, she secured an internship with the Arabia Factory in Helsinki, Finland, and had the chance to learn about many different ceramic materials. Objects designed by Heini have been in Arabia production since 1998. Heini graduated from the ceramics and glass department of the Helsinki University of Art and Design in 2002.
Today, Heini works in the Arabia Art Department. She has exhibited globally in venues that include Hostler & Burrows in New York and Design Miami. Her works can be found from Nagoya Children’s Hospital (Black Mamba, 2008) to Arabianranta in Helsinki (Arabian Flower, 2011).
From my hands to your hands
Every art object balances skillful handicraft, technique, composition and form. My chosen technique is clay slip casting, a mold where the objects are shaped. With that, the unique surface of the ceramic and the features of the glass are incorporated artworks like TITI-TYY and my hexagon pieces. This gives cach object I craft an absorbing, immersive depth.
After slip casting and shaping, every individual piece needs to be rounded and cut by hand with a knife. That’s why you can see my handwork in the cutting surfaces, even after they have been glazed. Every single piece is a handmade, unique object. This is at the core of my artwork.
I am inspired by everyday moments that have a special connection with nature. I love to transfer these observations into materials that inspire me. I want to decorate homes and different environments with universal, almost primitive art pieces.
Colors and prints
The basic technique is a lot like silk screen printing, but the technique is used in monotype. Each individual piece can work on its own, but two pieces together can become a new artwork.
I start by blending the ceramic colors together by hand, which is a demanding process that required a lot of study, trial and error and experimentation to perfect. The number of color combinations is endless, and I can change the base color as well. I am on an expedition in my own art. When I find a shape that works, I usually stick with it, but I can experiment freely with decorations.
Work as an Artist
I hold dear my artistic perspective and free expression. I do everything from creating wall reliefs to unique home decoration pieces. My customers include private individuals and resellers, and my art can be seen in private homes, museum exhibitions, and public art installations, both permanent and temporary.
|Work as a Designer
I have worked for example as a decorative product designer for Arabia since 1998, Scope Japan in 2013 and Fiskars since 2009, as well as a textile designer for Lapuan Kankurit since 2007. Design work acts as a balance for my own individual, unique art pieces. All these products can be bought in the respective retailers.
Here are some selected works
Ruut, Client: Lapuan Kankurit
Sirkus, Kukka, Lintu, Salla, Milja (2021-)
Client: Kotonowa Kyoto , Maruwa Ltd.
Designer for collection of Furoshikis - traditional fabric scarves to fold bags, lunch wrapping, gift wrapping also sold as fabric gift boxes.
Enamel product range
Client: Connect Japan
Designer for decoration for Kaico enamel products for Japanese market area.
Puutarha (Limited edition 2013
Set of chopstick rests
Asiakas: Scope Japan
Designer for decoration for chopstick rest serie, a numbered collection