Kaie Pungas

“I was born on the Eastern side of Estonia near the Russian border in 1984 as a middle child. In 1991 when Estonia became independent my father passed away. We were brought up by my mother and grandmother who came to live with us and help with our little farm. There were not many opportunities for hobbies, apart from a local art and music school for children, where I started art studies. From there I studied ceramics in the Estonian Art Academy and in Hungary at the Moholi Nagy Design School. I had an opportunity to undertake a summer practice at Kecskemet International Ceramics Studio in Hungary where I met several ceramic artist who influenced my understanding of design. After graduating, I got a job in Olustvere School of Service and Rural Economics in South Estonia where I built up a vocational programme for ceramic studies. After seven years of work in the school, I decided I need a year without teaching to do my own ceramics. I applied for a volunteering position in North Uganda to work with local women’s groups who make crafts and spent a year in Africa. Now I am situated in Estonia, back in my mother’s home with a little daughter, teaching in a local art school and building a ceramics studio.

I have been a playful soul bouncing from making jewellery items to animal sculptures, but during my time in vocational school I got very interested in functional ware. The struggle between aesthetics and function is beautiful for me. I am interested of boundaries of ceramics material and bringing it out in the best possible way. Woodfiring has come up as it gives depth and maturity to the material. I am looking for freedom in my work, striving to achieve a seemingly effortless touch.”

Kaie Pungas​’s website

Kaie Pungas​ is one of the artists in Peripheries, an exhibition of contemporary Estonian ceramics, part of EDGES, The Ceramic House – find out more