Handmade products are becoming very popular in most of the markets in the world. You can find handmade products from South America in China and vice versa. Handmade products from Latvia are very trendy in the European market nowadays because they are made with traditional methods and have a unique style that decorates and gives style to spaces as houses and offices. There are many types of products that range from clothing to kitchenware and even bicycles. In this occasion we will be taking a look at a company that makes beautiful and functional tableware that show respect towards its historic production cycle and design that challenges the pace of life and quickly changing trends. Their handmade tableware is glazed and tempered at 1000 C and is heat resistant to be used both in the oven, microwave oven and dishwasher safe. The company is Vaidava Ceramics and this is a short view on their story, products, collections and their commitment to the Latvian nature.
The Vaidava Ceramics story started in 1980 in the region of Vaidava, Latvia, when a subsidiary building had been transformed and adapted so ceramics could be produced. Six years later the energetic and promising new specialist Janis Balodis became the production manager of the company and injected his passion for ceramics and design since the beginning. Fortunately for the company, and for Janis, his job was his passion and since the mid-90s this small ceramics production site has been the Balodis family enterprise and the birthplace of Vaidava Ceramics. Their tradition of making Latvian natural ceramics is strongly established and they have set the goal of preserving this tradition for the future. Vaidava ceramics is one of the few ceramic production sites left in Latvia that still implements the Latvian handmade style of natural ceramics.
Vaidava Ceramics has had the same passion and responsibility in ceramic production since the beginning. They truly care about the environment and the nature that surrounds them (understanding that Latvia has a big diversity of lakes and forests) and they are committed to the production of natural ceramic dishes with a nearly non-waste technological process. The company relies on their natural process by reusing production waste as many times possible and by making their production lead free and with no harmful substance in order to export their products as far as the United States. Their raw material, red clay, comes directly from the Latvian nature and is found in the nearby clay quarry located in Lode Municipality, Priekuli district.
The process and the people are the core assets of the company. It is the people and their talent that make this company successful in the market. The company does not have employees but has 15 “great masters” with many years of experience to make the ceramic dishes and other. Creation of dishes is fully a handmade process, from the labor consuming preparation of Latvian red clay all the way to the accurate packaging of the item. This process and technology have been with the company since the beginning and have not changed for more than 20 years. The process of obtaining the clay only has one part that is not handmade and it is when the clay is just mechanically purified from pebbles, sand, twigs or fir needles and not artificially modified so the clay can remain natural as it comes from the mountains. When the clay arrives to Vaidava it is mixed with water so it can be used for ceramic production.
The products focus on tableware which links traditions of Latvian ceramics and desire for northerner’s timid aesthetic pleasure. In the item you can feel the Latvian red clay which has remained unglazed and has just been levelled and polished. In the inside, the item has been glazed in milk-white color for the purpose of the function which could be anywhere from serving “strawberries with milk in the middle of summer, bacon pies in winter dusk, green leeks with sour cream in spring fest or steaming fresh potatoes with wild mushroom source in colorful autumn afternoon” as said by the current Vaidava Ceramics manager Miks Balodis, the middle son of Janis Balodis. Also, the items are particular because from time to time the collection is supplemented by limited number of dishes with glazing in different colors.
This is the story behind those very stylish and traditional dishes that come from Latvia and that give spaces that special and traditional look. Vaidava Ceramic’s masters have very high demands for dish design, quality and durability. They are also very picky with the clay and the process that is implemented to produce their art. Therefore customers receive only top quality products that have passed the highest quality test in the hands of the great masters.