Our first Creative Hotspot was Urkult Folk Festival in Näsåker. The crafspeople who attended this Hotspot sold their products at the festival marketplace and they also visited Helen Blästa at The Nordic Centre. Now Helen has been selected to attend our next Creative Hotspot: Arctic Design Week in Rovaniemi, Finland.
Helen Blästa is a ceramics artist: “I’ve been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember”, Helen tells us. Around 15 years ago, she decided to focus on clay and she started her own business: making ceramics including sculptures, kitchen ware, tea sets, tableware and mugs.
Helen has also been involved in various courses and projects, teaching ceramics to others. Helen has been running Sharing Hands at The Nordic Centre. This is an integration project where people with different cultural backgrounds learned how to tell their stories through clay.
The Nordic Centre is a family-run business. The converted farm offers cosy accommodation all-year-round. During Urkult festival, it is possible to camp on the farm grounds. However, the pottery studio constitutes the core of what the Nordic Centre does.
The Nordic Centre is located in a small town and, even if many people attend Urkult every summer, Helen sometimes feels isolated. To widen her network and meet new colleagues and clients, she often participates in workshops and creative gatherings:“I am hoping to meet new people during Arctic Design Week – people with whom I can share my ideas and interests. I hope to meet potential buyers who are looking for new products”.
“One of the related things I’m planning” – Helen continues – “is to organise a ceramics festival here in Näsåker. Visiting Arctic Design Week would undoubtedly be beneficial. My current situation and main problem is that I’m looking for more than local selling channels. This feels like a golden opportunity to expand The Nordic Centre”.