I am Martina Martin, the craftswoman behind Planina Ceramics. I am a Croatian ceramic artist and designer based in Sweden. Apart from a clay, I am in love with mountains, wildflowers, books, traveling and motorcycles.
I work with stoneware clay and use traditional hand-building techniques such as coiling, rolling and pinching, and a lot of my pieces are hand-carved. The hand-building technique allows for a soft, tactile organic form that I like. I only use my hands, clay and some simple wooden tools. My ceramic pieces hold evidence of the human hand and I hope these preserved histories allow the viewer to connect with its deeply human, handmade origin. When making, I am looking towards a realistic and thoughtful way to endorse sustainability, as well as to keep myself engaged as a lover of things and as an artist.
Each ceramic piece I made is unique because it is handbuilt without using molds or pottery wheel. I am using techniques that existed long before a pottery wheel.
I have a master's degree in Graphic Arts and I worked as a graphic designer in Zagreb for six years before I started a pottery class. I instantly fell in love with clay, and said that that was ‘a love at first touch’. After I finish the class, the one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to work with clay no matter what. I was ready to invest the first few years on this path purely to feed my soul, without expecting any monetary benefits, because I knew the hard work would be worth it. Whether I made sculptures or functional work, I wanted to continue working in ceramics and make a living from something that I love and enjoy doing. It was a difficult decision to let go of my job and steady income and decide to dedicate my time to making work. In this self-discovery process, I increased the amount of time spent in the studio, modified my style of work from sculptures to more functional pieces, increased the type of products and forms that I made, and most importantly, shifted to a growth mindset as I was experimenting more.
I started my work in a small studio in the center of Zagreb, Croatia. It was absolutely crucial for my environment to feel comfortable with me. It needed the elements of a home with the functionality of a maker’s studio. I tried very hard to keep it neat and presentable in order to keep my mental image of the place feeling positive and productive. But after two years making ceramics in it, I started to realize that Zagreb was too crowded for me, and there was less and less nature in the city. I decided to come to Sweden and change my environment for creation. I want to make a new impression and practical experience that I will be able to assimilate into my work.
I am now living in Swedish countryside, in an old wooden house and my life has changed drastically. I have a gallery and workshop in a small wooden house in my backyard. I am a much more detail-oriented person now, and I have also stared making my own bread and jam, and decorating a flower garden. Life moves a bit slower and more methodically. I have routines which help to keep my mind on track when I get scattered. Planina is my inspiration towards being creative every day; whether it be clay, wood, or a camera, I am always making something and I wouldn’t change that for anything.
I believe that beauty is everywhere and especially in little things and female bodies. I love making mugs, vases and sculptures inspired with Woman body because they are very lovable, they carry a firm message about respecting a woman’s body and they celebrate beauty and naturalness. Just as every woman is beautiful and unique, so is every Planina ceramic piece. It’s my hope that the ceramics I make will encourage and empower women to make them feel confident in their own body and celebrate flaws.
On the other side, Ourea ceramics exalt the texture and beauty of the raw clay, reminiscent of mountain landscapes and natural terrain. As you know, the brand Planina is a word for Mountain in the Croatian language so I deeply enjoyed creating them. The name Ourea is given because in Greek mythology Ourea are the spirits of the mountains. Ourea pieces celebrate the traditional Japanese technique of hollowing and carving clay, Kurinuki. The time taken to slowly carve each one celebrates the texture of the raw materials in contrast to “perfect” mass-produced ceramics.
I had several great collaborations in recent years, a few with Croatian makers, and also with the Adidas, Nestle and Luta coffee shop in Zagreb. You can read more about the collaborations here.
I hope you will love my work as much as I love making it.
Education, ceramics training & seminars
2022 / Intro to Local Materials Workshop, Studio Alluvium (Mitch Iburg i Zoë Powell)
2022 / Making a rounded teapot from flat slabs, Sage Cortez | Hand + Fire
2022 / Kurinuki, Sage Cortez | Hand + Fire
2022 / Think Global, Dig Local - Atelier NL , Design Talks at Röhsska Museum, Sweden
2020 / Ceramic apprenticeship - Ravitera, Croatia
2019 / Handbuilding workshop - Atelje na br.1, Croatia
2013-2015 / Master Faculty of Graphic Arts, Zagreb, Croatia
2010-2013 / Bachelor Faculty of Graphic Arts, Zagreb, Croatia
2022 / artist residency at Cerdeira - Home for Creativity, Portugal
Konstnärernas Kollektivverkstad Göteborg, Sweden
2022 / Support is everything, Adidas, Croatia
2022 / Luta cortado cups, Luta coffee shop, Croatia
2021 / Pink October soy candles, Bijeli Glog, Croatia
2021 / Pinch soup bowls, Nestle, Croatia
2021 / Soap dish collection, Jou Jou Botanicals, Croatia
2020 / Soy candles collection, Bijeli Glog, Croatia
2021 / Planina, independent exhibition at Planina Studio, Zagreb Croatia
2020 / Ona - Women inspired collages and ceramics, Karibu coffee shop, Zagreb, Croatia