Creating Simplicity – Ceramics by Finnish Artist Kati Tuominen-Niittylä

Looking at Finnish ceramicist Kati Tuominen-Niittylä’s range of works, there is indeed beauty in simplicity. Her range of ceramic buckets, sieves, bowls and baskets all feature simple shapes and plain, neutral colours. However, the simplistic elements also create something striking; A beautiful raw artwork that doesn’t need anything ‘extra’ to make them stand out.

Tuominen-Niittylä is a world-renowned artist specialising in creating thin-walled vessels inspired by buckets and baskets from ancient times. Her skill as a ceramicist is extraordinary; The details used in each piece beautifully reference traditional craft. Combined with silhouettes featuring flat bases and subtle, rounded handles, the works are suggestive of ancient functional vessels and baskets, though Tuominen-Niittylä creates the pieces purely with artistic purpose.

Tuominen-Niittylä uses different approaches when working with the ceramic medium, changing between casting, hand-building and wheel-throwing. All the pieces are also high-fired. The way she alternates her techniques allows her to keep the process interesting and unique and it often leads to new details and finishes. The colours she uses are mostly neutral allowing the details to lead the observer’s eye. These colours, combined with the rough edges of each piece, make it appear almost geological. Yet the finer detail gives them a sophisticated and elegant feel.

Although the pieces are made as artistic works, they can double as functional containers such as fruit bowls. It can be displayed as a single centrepiece or arranged together to create a rustic look. These stunning pieces are the perfect addition to any neutral-coloured, open space.

Kati Tuominen-Niittylä has been living and working in Helsinki, Finland, for many years. Throughout her career, she has won several awards and accolades. Today, her work can be seen in the permanent collections of numerous public institutions including the Finnish State Collections and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.