We invited a small cohort of creative people to each interpret one of aiayu’s natural materials and elevate them into art. Their creative process and final pieces are the foundation of aiayu’s AW21 campaign, telling the stories of our responsible materials through artistry and craftsmanship. Here is talented Wilma Nawara:
Hi Wilma, tell us a bit about yourself!
What are the key things we need to know about you and your work?
I’m a Copenhagen-based ceramicist originally from the Netherlands. I love nature and traveling and try to spend as much time as I can by the ocean. In my work as a ceramicist, my main focus lies on functionality, longevity and simplicity. When someone buys one of my pieces, I want them to take care of it, making it last as long as possible. I think the best way to do that is to create a connection between the consumer and product, and make them curious about the craftsman – in this case me – and the process of how the product is created. I love sharing and exchanging knowledge.
For this campaign, Wilma interpreted Aiayu’s llama wool, materializing it into an installation of pieces representing a herd of llamas. The Herd Vases – with their long necks and soft, rounded bodies – are inspired by llama herds roaming free in the Bolivian highlands. They are made of different stoneware and stoneware blends to create a range of colors showcasing the natural and raw look of the clay, and representing the diverse beauty of the llama’s natural shades.
Tell us a bit about how you approached this project: how did you come up with the idea for the Herd Vases?
When I was introduced to the project and the materials, I saw a photo of a herd of llamas. I instantly loved the colour scheme of their fur, and the look of them huddling together in a group with their long, slender necks. This image stuck with me while creating ideas. I like to keep things simple but elegant, and in the end decided not to try to implement actual llama wool. Instead, I decided to go back to the beginning, trying to capture the origins of the material and what I think is so beautiful about it: the llamas in their natural habitat.
Do you see any similarities between your way of designing and working with stoneware, and how we work with natural materials at Aiayu?
Yes, I do! I often leave the exterior of my pieces unglazed to showcase the natural beauty of clay with its variety of colours and textures. Most of the llama wool Aiayu uses is not dyed or changed into a different colour. They leave it in their beautiful natural colour shades.
Any tips for our readers that might nurture a dream of becoming an entrepreneur?
What works for me is to not force things – just let it grow naturally. The most important thing is that I love my craft and enjoy what I’m doing. I try to create a life for myself where I can do what I love. I challenge myself, but still have the freedom and time to reflect and appreciate what I’m doing. Also taking small steps helps me to not get overwhelmed as quickly and make it more manageable, because I’m also still learning how to start and run a business!