108 days: Lotta Virtanen

Today, I explored the streets of Helsinki's Design District, a place full of Finnish creativity. I wanted to learn more about Finnish design and use it in my art. The air was fresh as I walked from one gallery to another, each shop window showing more and more. I saw textiles that felt like the soft breeze of the north and jewelry that looked like the Baltic Sea.

I met Lotta Virtanen, a local artisan who specializes in ceramic arts. Her studio was a cave of wonders lined with earthenware that told tales of Finnish folklore with a modern twist. Lotta shared her journey from a novice to a master of the clay. Her passion for transforming a simple lump of earth into a story-filled masterpiece was inspiring. We talked about the textures of our experiences—her tactile, mine visual—and she invited me to a workshop, which I eagerly accepted. Today wasn’t just about viewing art; it was about sharing it, learning the strokes that aren't made with a brush but with hands that shape clay. Lotta’s dedication reminded me of the detail I aspire to in my paintings, a reminder of the constant learning we undergo as creators. Her story will influence my next piece.

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