Teija Oikkonen  

Teija Oikkonen

045 - 678 4880


Compassionate sculpture with a taste for life

My works tell a story of the diversity, changes, and turning points of life. They are statements from the compassionate side of life. The theme is frequently of comfort, faith, and hope.

The names are a key to the meaning and content of the sculptures.

Because of changes that occur, a person can be compelled to start over many times in life. Each change brings with it a fresh start and its unique story.

From this kind of turning point, the “Alkutarina” works were born. The oval shape of the “Alkutarina” is based on the universal myth of the cosmic egg, as found in the Kalevala for example. One of the “Alkutarina” tingles brightly and beautifully, another one booms softly, another is pure silence. The sound is generated by small clay beads inside the piece.

Frequently a strong animal, carrying people on its back, is featured in my sculptures. The basic idea is that life carries us and takes us onward.

The names of the sculptures depict life’s different situations. Matkaanlähtijä (Voyager), Uneenkantaja (Dreamcarrier), Yhdessä (Togetherness), Selviytyjä (Survivor), or Perheet (Families).

For example in Matkaanlähtijä (Voyager), a small person carrying a suitcase, is ready to step out into the theatre of existence, riding a steady and robust animal that symbolises life.

Sculptural form and surface decoration is the inspiration behind my one-off dishes or a bowls. I often use forms and motifs from nature. On my ceramic pictures, I emboss the surface withblocks that are used in Indian textile printing, and apply oxides and glaze. Beach glass, that has been ground smooth by the ocean, also continues its story in these pictures.

The colours in my sculptures are very earthy, inspired by the Nordic environment. In addition to my Nordic roots, you can see the influence of years spent in Asia in my works.

I work in a bulding built 1908, that was once a stable, among other things, in a city block called Taivaanvuohi (Heaven’s Goat).Situated in the district of Ullanlinna, Helsinki.

I graduated with a degree in Handicraft and Industrial Design in 1990 at the Kuopio Institute of Handicraft and Industrial design. Since then I have been working as an independent ceramist and teaching ceramics.