If we are proud of something at MOIMOI is about all the inspiring and creative friends that have collaborated with us through the years.
We would like you to meet Inka Honkanen, an aspiring ceramist, as she describes herself. Inka is a multi talent creative who has been behind the camera for MOIMOI campaign pictures several times. She is also a proud owner of CARLA vegan bag.
We visited her workshop in the side of the amazing Alexander Theatre in Helsinki to document her work and ask some questions.
Inka, when and how did you start making ceramics?
I first got into clay about three years ago when my brother got me a gift certificate for the local ceramics centre. I enrolled in a one-night hand building course and made myself a couple of little bowls and a cup I think, with some help from plaster former moulds. After the course I found out the studio held open studio nights on Tuesdays, so I spent the autumn going there weekly and making myself more things with the same style, to build up a set I guess. In any case I guess I was hooked from the start!
We understood that is a laborious process with many steps, which one is your favourite part?
Yes, making ceramics is quite laborious and has many steps that take time and effort. Of the whole process my favourite part has to be opening the kiln after a glaze firing and seeing what comes out. Most times you get a surprise or two, as the glazes can have a mind of their own sometimes. You have to learn to have no expectations, haha! I really love throwing pots on the wheel too. It’s so rewarding, because you're seeing constant progress. In the beginning it was super hard to get the lump of clay to act the way you want, but I feel I’ve come quite far, though I’m definitely still learning so much every time.
Your ceramics include graphic elements such a circles or triangles, Where the inspiration for these elements comes from?
I'm not quite sure how that started. I think I'd seen a picture of an industrially made pot with a similar pattern at some point and wanted to do my take on that. At first I just wanted to make myself a nice pot but somehow things have snowballed from there! These days I work with marketing content and user experience but I also have a degree in textiles, specialising in pattern design. Naturally this might contribute to my style in ceramics quite a lot. I want my pots to spark joy! They are functional objects but they can also make everyday life a bit brighter by being cute and playful.
As we mention above, you own CARLA vegan bag, what do you always carry inside?
Ohh, I love my Carla! It's the fourth moimoi bag that I've had in daily use over the years (having said that, the others are still in tip top shape and get used every now & then - it's frigging awesome to have a little collection of moimoi bags in different sizes for different occasions). Inside my Carla travels a shopping bag, the compulsory hand-sanitiser & mask combo, keys, a little multi-purpose tin container (more about that later), a couple of lipsticks (MAC Lady Danger being my trusty fire engine red), wallet, sunnies when the weather's warmer or glasses when I'm heading somewhere where I need to stare at a screen and look smart, AirPods' case, phone charger & tissues. Sometimes a water bottle too. Nothing too exciting there I guess, sorry!
What is the most surprising thing you have in your bag?
Hmm, mine might be this tiny emergency kit AKA pill container with hinges and a vintage tomato sauce ad on its lid. It's a mini-size treasure trove that usually has individually packaged painkillers, ear plugs (who remembers to pack plugs when heading to a gig?), mini hair ties, a safety pin or two, a pair of earrings and that little metal pokey-thing you can use to remove your sim card with. Believe it or not, all of this can fit in a tiny magic box.
What is the most important thing you consider when looking to buy a new bag?
I look for something that'll last time both in an aesthetic way as well as durability. I like the things that I use every day to be practical and comfortable. I also like to support small businesses and local companies. Now that I think of it, I haven't bought any other handbags apart from moimoi in at least 10 years, cause they seem to tick every box on my list! I guess you could call me a very happy customer.
If you could trade bags with anyone, who would it be?
Well, I don't mean to sound like a flatterer but there have been various times I've wanted to swap bags with you Raquel! Especially when you're trying out a new sample and I know it'll be months before I have a chance to get my paws on one.
Do you have a motto in life?
I try not to take life and all things in it, including myself, too seriously in general. I'm not sure if I have a motto as such, but this simple sentence made a huge impact in my life when I first heard it during a tricky time in my life: "Do not stress about things you have no control over." At troublesome times I still tell myself that. It can be the weather, another human being or something else, and though things are never black and white, it still simplifies things and helps to let go of some of the stress or anxiety life throws at you from time to time.