My name is Karolien Coolen and I'm a ceramic maker originally from Belgium but based in Turcifal, Portugal. I was introduced to ceramics in 2019 at a moment in my life where I was looking to find my true self again. 7 years of university (I have a master in African Languages and Cultures, studied philosophy and participated in a Honors Program concerning Ebola in North-Eastern DRC) in combination with a mind that already has the tendency to overthink everything, drove me a little crazy. From the moment I sat down behind the wheel I experienced a true feeling of happiness. I fell in love immediately and I never stopped.
My search for authenticity and being surrounded by the breathtaking Portuguese landscape inspired me to work and experiment with wild clay coming from our own land or land in a close radius to our home. It brings the essence back to the beautiful practice which pottery and making ceramics is.
I want to share with you my passion for this stunning craft by my work as well as by teaching. My ambition? To give grounding, beauty and wonder a definite place in your life.
My name is Mariana Costa and I am from Portugal.
The first time I ever worked with clay was while I was in university, getting a Bachelor's degree in Sculpture.
It started as just a means to an end that allowed me to make the artwork that I needed at that moment but as the time went by I started to get really intrigued about what was really clay, could I collect it in the wild, is it possible to make glazes out of natural materials?
This infinity of questions lead me to be currently an apprentice and Co-teacher at Karolien ́s atelier.
Working with clay everyday brings me so much happiness, there is so much to learn and practice and I look forward to it every single day, especially with anything that involves wild clay and natural materials.
I am really excited and honored to be able to share my knowledge about handbuilding techniques, as for me teaching is always incredibly rewarding especially when it is about something I am really passionate about.