Malwina Kleparska is a ceramic artist based in Gothenburg, Sweden, and is mostly known for her eccentric and unique candleholders. Malwina’s work is playful but also bold. By using traditional, hand building techniques such as slab building, coiling and pinching, her work is intimately personalized with every piece proudly featuring visible marks from her fingertips; another reminder that each of her sculptured pieces is a unique piece of art.
Malwina was born and raised in Stockholm and from a very young age she was encouraged by her mother to engage in different activities and hobbies. But it was a pottery class at the age of nine that made her realize her true artistic calling. Malwina mentions that: “When I was little my mom sent me off to try out different things, like piano and violin lessons, aikido, horse riding, etc. When I was nine she did also send me to a ceramics course that was once a week. And of all those things I did as a child, ceramics was the only thing that I continued with. I went to these classes once a week for 10 years, even during my high school years! And when I was about 21 I decided to take the ceramics more seriously and I applied for art school. I studied ceramics for 5 years and today I have a bachelor degree in ceramics art.”
Her signature, bespoke candleholders are made in stoneware clay and usually left unglazed; instead Malwina allows the different colored clays to speak for themselves. For decoration she uses slips, made of other clays, such as porcelain, mixed with water, to create an ornamentation or pattern. On some of the pieces Malwina uses shiny clear glaze where the clays color is still visible but the glaze adds a natural reflection of the light.
Besides working in her own studio, Malwina is also teaching ceramic classes at the Workers' Educational Association. As Malwina explains “The groups there are very mixed, from seniors to kids, from people struggling with mental illnesses to teenagers trying to figure out what they want to do in their lives. For me this job is so rewarding. I get to know so many different people and teach them the thing I love the most. But the best thing is that I also get to learn from them!”
When she is not working with functional objects, Malwina is building abstract sculptures. Similarly, to her approach with the candleholders, the creation of the sculptures is an organic manifestation of Malwina’s creative nature, and an alternative way to get inspired. Talking about the creation of these abstract sculptures Malwina said that “the process is fast and the sculptures have the appearance of being spontaneous and playful. The works often illustrate fragments of my memories that through my hands have been transferred into the specific objects, each of them with their own character. Presented together in a constellation they speak of how our memories and the things we have experience previously make us who we are.”
Even though candleholders are Malwina’s signature piece, she is also working on other ideas, soon to be released. She is also preparing for two exhibitions coming up one in April participating in a collaborative exhibition with a group of local artists and the second one is in June at Studio HPKSM also in Gothenburg.
Here are some of Malwina’s incredible pieces, but for more information go to Malwina's Instagram page. Also some of my work is available exclusively through www.odematelier.com so make sure you check it out as well.