Local producers are the invisible force that keeps things in motion, serving people looking after a different buying experience but also keen to discover less commercial products. We often link them to players within the culinary playground, yet things have changed tremendously in the last few years. The arts and craft sector within creative industries expanded in various forms and made room for more ceramists to join the local arena.
Nowadays, you can buy art objects or architectural design endeavors with plenty of such crafters from Iași. I’ve been familiar with some of them since my early days as a community builder, yet I discovered others recently. I bet there are even more such creative souls out there, so I would be thrilled to hear your recommendations and expend the list of those who enrich our lives with stunning ceramics and tactile experiences.
Atelier Poteca is a painting and ceramics studio founded by the artist Dan Ursu. He runs a wide range of creative activities, such as courses to create tailored ceramics from scratch, painting workshops, modeling classes for adults and children, and custom-made paintings. For those eager to get out of their comfort zone and play with clay, this space is perfect for such a challenge. Atelier Poteca encourages the growth of local artists by offering the space itself and the know-how of Dan Ursu during over 14 years of activity.
Atelier Magrit is Gabriela Carp’s signature, and it stands out, as she beautifully describes on her website, through the love of nature, simplicity, and surrealism. I dare to add and highlight the outstanding chromatics that the entire suite of her products carries and sets them apart miles away from the rest. On top of that, the bold shapes Gabriela brings out in the world are unique. Therefore, if you want to buy a beautiful cup to enjoy your coffee in the mornings, a platter on which to put fruits, or a brooch that’s hard to resist, you landed in the right place.
Ramona Biciușcă is part of the local Plastic Artist Union, teaches at George Enescu Art University, and is the founder of Olărit Aiurit. Her name is probably the first that came to mind due to her long experience in this field. She works and exhibits due to her collaboration with May Gallery in Paris, an experience through which she brings precious know-how to the local community: relevant topics within the industry, cutting-edge technologies, and new directions in contemporary ceramics. I was beyond happy to discover her at the 2022 edition of Romanian Creative Week, within the exposition The Valences of White, which genuinely impressed me. The art objects signed by Ramona Biciușcă are, by far, some of the most daring ones I have seen in Romania, and I’m happy to know that she shapes the path of future ceramists through her academic activity.
Fire Kultur is an artistic group with more than ten years of experience, founded by Daniel Pop, who specializes in furniture and ambient installations made of ceramics. The monumental compositions impress with their geometric approach, and I was pleased to admire them at the former CIN CIN by Select restaurant in the city center. I genuinely loved the description on his Facebook page, which turns out to be a powerful statement about his vision: “Drawing is the purest form of free expression, without constraints or boundaries, in the atmosphere of which you can get lost for good.”
Organica Balcanica is a ceramics workshop created by Cristina Poncu, whose interdisciplinary approach to design and user experience leaves its mark on the objects she gently crafts. Through the way they look and feel, they kindly invite you to experience moments of peace, tranquility, and harmony inside your home but also in other venues, such as SPA areas, boutique hotels, or concept stores. Organica Balcanica is also an open workshop for creative experiences for playing, learning, and modeling both the clay and the human spirit.
I encourage you to look at these ceramics studios and get lost in their gorgeous universes. Tell others, too, because this is the only way we close ranks in the creative community and contribute to its growth and consolidation.