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Behind The Design: Narrating Identities, The Ceramic Art of Elena Mahno

Explore the artisan journey of Pooja Pawaskar, the creative force behind Whirl & Whittle. From her early inspirations in Mumbai to her passion for embracing the beauty of imperfections in...

Within the artfully curated space of Mararamiro Home, where each objet d'art whispers its own tale, a new narrative unfolds. It's the work of Elena Mahno, a ceramic artist whose creations are more than visually arresting—they are poetic dialogues in clay. "My practice straddles sculpture and craft, often looking to form to represent conceptual themes with a bit of sneaky utility," she muses, inviting us into her world.

Elena Mahno thoughtfully shaping clay in her art studio, surrounded by her ceramic creations.
Photo by Amrita Singh

Elena Mahno's Journey

From her early days in Moldova to her current life in Toronto, Elena has been a cartographer of the human experience. "I’ve been fortunate to live across several cultures and professionally try out multiple careers," she reflects. This rich tapestry of experiences informs her work, which serves as a harmonious blend of sculpture and craft, mapping out complex terrains of identity and cultural heritage.

Evolution and Transformation

Portrait of Elena Mahno, framed by her unique ceramic pieces, in the sanctuary of her art studio.
Photo by Amrita Singh

Initially, Elena embarked on a career far removed from the arts, studying biomaterials with the aim of healing the human body. "I started in a different field," she reveals, "but somewhere along the way, I found I had more to say than I could fit into symmetrical shapes." This led her to hand building, a technique that allows her to articulate complex themes and emotions.

A Dialogue with the Zeitgeist

Artist Elena Mahno in her creative space, with a variety of her ceramic pieces displayed in the background.
Photo by Amrita Singh

Her creations are not isolated works of art; they are cultural commentaries, layered with meaning and history. "I often borrow, cross-pollinate, and remix insights and observations from these experiences," she explains. In this way, her work becomes a reflection of evolving conversations around identity, womanhood, and the multifaceted nature of human experience.

"My practice straddles sculpture and craft, often looking to form to represent conceptual themes with a bit of sneaky utility"

The Craft Behind the Art

Craftsmanship in Elena's pieces goes beyond mere technique; it's a tactile poem crafted with meticulous attention to detail. "For me, originally, this stemmed from throwing on the wheel," she notes. In a digital world, her work stands as a tribute to the beauty of human touch, a celebration of the artisanal.

Elena Mahno immersed in her craft, with her ceramic art objects elegantly arranged around her studio.
Photo by Amrita Singh

Curated Pieces at Mararamiro Home

An Invitation to Experience

We extend an invitation for you to experience this captivating collection in person at Mararamiro Home. "Clay stuck because even in the process of learning, trying and failing, it felt like I’m that kid again, rushing home excited to work on a project," she reminisces, capturing the joy and passion that infuse each piece.

As you wander through the curated spaces of Mararamiro Home, each piece by Elena Mahno invites you to ponder deeper questions. "It's a slow burn back to myself," she reflects. What stories do the objects in your home narrate? What identities do they reveal or conceal? It's an exploration that promises to be as enriching as it is aesthetically pleasing.

Artist Elena Mahno in her creative space, with a variety of her ceramic pieces displayed in the background.
Photo by Amrita Singh

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