Say hello to Nata.
PHOTOGRAPHER | WRITER AFT
Read the Interview
Nata Pestune is a dedicated ceramist and her objects are a true reflection of herself — calm, sensitive yet strong.
We sat down with her for a cup of tea and spoke about her native origin Latvia, her fascination for ceramics and her longing for nature.
AFT: How did you start with ceramics?
Nata Pestune: I was living and studying in China for a while. I studied theory in art school. There were obviously a lot of people studying more practical things like ceramics as well. Unfortunately I never had the chance to try ceramics. One day I met a guy from Combodia who was doing his masters in ceramics. I somehow had the feeling that I would like to see his workshop. I went there and in an exchange of some fruits he gave me a couple of classes. He showed me how to work with porcelain which is quite hard to work with on the wheel because it is a very soft material. And if you work to much it soaks water and collapses. I have been there twice. After some time I left China.
Why did you leave China?
— I was doing my masters and I have been alone a lot. I felt very homesick. My boyfriend was living and studying in the UK. We had this long-distance relationship for two years, since I started out with my master degree. So I went back to Europe and was living in England for a while. Then I moved to Hamburg and did an office job but quit it after one year. During this time I discovered a workshop called FRAUENWERKSTATT. It’s a place where you can build something from wood or ceramic. And because I didn’t had a job I was going there every day. Without any plan just for fun of it. It kind of helped me to disconnect from the routine I used to have. I became better every day and it felt very natural to me. I realised that I didn’t want to do anything else but this.
So you are pretty much self taught. Do you have any plans of taking it a step further? Maybe go to art school again?
— I am still learning every day and discovering different materials. Right now I am very interested in porcelain. I would love to learn more about it. Both materials come from earth, from soil but porcelain has a different chemistry. It’s quite a tricky material. But I like the way it looks in the end. The glazes look more interesting, a lot brighter – just nice. There is a lot to learn for me and I am looking for a place to study. Not in university, because I know what I want to do and don’t want to learn any theory. I would love to do a workshop with an artist I admire and would love to learn more about glazes. Its amazing that all the raw materials you combine lead to different results – an incredible, magical world. But for now everything is in the flow. I’m learning and developing my style, I’m kind of finding myself. Or at least the material I like to work with and a color palette I like.
What about Latvia? Do you want to go back some time?
— These days I have such a longing for Latvia. It was different in the winter but now in summer, it’s difficult for me. When I lived in Latvia I spent all the summer in the countryside. Therefore it is hard for me to live in the city right now. But on the other hand Latvia is a small country and therefore there is more competition and less money, I guess. I think it would be harder to live there. Maybe in the future. But right now I feel comfortable in Hamburg, it feels like there is enough space for everyone.
Her online shop can be found here.