Studio MAALS is an urban pottery studio based in Hamburg, founded and lead by maker Nata Pestune.
Hello! My name is Nata Pestune.
I come from a small Baltic country - Latvia. I have founded my pottery studio (known before as SUNTREE studio) in 2014 with a focus to create simple, yet beautiful tableware for everyday use.
Many things have changed since 2014, also my approach to working with clay and glaze materials had changed to a more conscious and meaningful one. And in February 2021, after moving to a new studio space, studio MAALS was born.
MAALS (also māls, Latvian) means clay.
Simple as that.
Having previously lived in China for almost 2 years, in the city surrounded by tea plantation, back in 2013 first objects were playful, tiny in size pinch pots inspired by tea ceremony.
Now, I mainly focus on objects for the tabletop, from plates and cups to present and enjoy meals, to vases and flower frogs to decorate. Using stoneware and porcelain as main material, I work within several collections, sometimes playing around and introducing new colors through clay and glazes, creating one of a kind pieces.
Center of attention for me is finding fusion between beauty and function, with an idea in mind that objects will be used on a daily basis. Colors are reduced to a minimum, letting shape and natural color of clay to present itself and quietly interact with the environment it is placed into.
My current studio is located in a former machine factory in St. Georg, Hamburg, Germany and is part of the Association of Artists and Craftsman of the FÖRDERKREIS KOPPEL 66 E.V.
The story of the building starts in 1924, when the machine factory was built. Later on, in the 80s, the building was given to the artists of the city. Twice a year, we are hosting design and craft fairs, opening doors of the studios and inviting other artists and craftsmen (and women!) to present their work to the public.
You will find my studio on the second floor (1. O.G.) on the left. You are welcome to come by to visit me, take a look or/and buy my work.
Another important aspect for me is sustainability and careful use of resources in my studio practice.
We should not forget, that clay and clay minerals occur under a fairly limited range of geologic conditions, and we take the material from the earth. To minimize my ecological footprint I try to be as careful and thrifty with materials, as possible. I am banning toxic materials like lead, cadmium and other (chrome, manganese, vanadium) from using in glazes, as well as I mix most of the glazes myself to have more control over the safety, quality and durably of the glazes. All of my ceramics are fired at (stoneware) 1280 C and (porcelain) 1300-1310 degrees Celsius.
Glaze and clay scraps are collected and up-cycled & reused, to create new work and produce less waste going down the drain.
For packaging materials recycled cardboard and wrapping paper is used, as well as, if possible, old packaging boxes are reused to ship your orders. I am using green electricity supplier in the studio.