Fish Serving Plate 1 - Wood fired
The LOOPALU Fish Plate collection is inspired by the humble garfish. Known in Estonia as tuulekala (direct translation: wind fish), garfish is a predatory species that spends the majority of the year at the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. In late May, schools of garfish make the annual journey east to spawn in shallower waters. Hiiumaa is their prime destination. Here, they spawn in the bays of Mardihansu and Luidja as temperatures warm to 10-14 °C. Young garfish then occupy the surface layers of the Hiiumaa coastline before venturing back to the Atlantic in late August. This annual visit to Estonian waters (as well as the species’ distinctive elongated jaw and inverted eyelid) make the garfish a cherished national icon.
Each piece in the LOOPALU collection is wood-fired in a unique, three-chamber ceramic kiln. Hand-built on the island of Hiiumaa, the kiln is situated amongst dense pine forests and within easy reach of the island’s unspoilt, sand-drenched coastline.
The wood firing technique is intensive and requires continued stoking at extremely high temperatures. It’s this centuries-old process that gives each piece its distinctive tonality, texture and physical connection to the island. Temperature control plays a key role in each wood-fired design. This is left to the intuition and experience of Sulev Loopalu who adds locally-sourced hardwood to make subtle changes to the temperature throughout the process.
LOOPALU’s wood-firing technique combines craft and expertise with an added element of nature—fire. It’s this rare collaboration between craftsmanship and nature that elevates LOOPALU’s minimalist wares. With each firing, the Hiiumaa-based kiln leaves a bespoke mark on each piece that embodies the island’s character and essence.
Every object is completely hand built, glazed and carefully signed underneath. Each bears the mark of its maker in terms of colour, form and texture, as well as those found within the clay body itself. Please note that no two pieces are exactly alike.
Washing by hand is recommended.