Ola is a ceramicist and mixed media artist and a member of the Ardgillan Artist Collective – an initiative set up by Ardgillan Castle and Fingal County Council.
(short for Alexandra) Wartak-Tolak, works in her ‘Kitchen Studio’ located in Ardgillan Castle.
As a member of the collective, Ola is one of ten Fingal-based artists who have been offered individually supported studios, through an application process.
This is Kitchen Studio 2.0 because his original studio was his home kitchen! Since her move, Ola has been delighted to have the opportunity to work in the inspiring environment of Ardgillan Castle, where she can create and handcraft her unique and beautiful pieces which she markets and sells through his company “Stories by Ola”.
The first thing you notice when you meet Ola is the amount of body art she has, especially the gorgeous pink lace necklace, which she said was a gift from her friends to celebrate her 30th birthday. . She’s not sure how many tattoos she actually has, but thinks it’s about fifteen.
An avid collector of functional pieces of pottery and ceramics, Ola’s passion for making her own creations began when her husband gave her a voucher for the Skerries Art School and she started taking run with Tom Joyce.
“Tom is such an amazing teacher,” says Ola. “I just loved it! “
Building on the knowledge she gained from Tom, she enrolled in a two-year full-time craft course at Coláiste Dhúlaigh, from which she recently graduated.
She will soon be starting a part-time wheel pottery course to add this skill to her extensive resume.
Ola’s main inspiration comes from the sea: “For the past fifteen years I have lived near the beautiful Irish coast which has turned my blood into salt water. she says. “All my pieces tell a story of the seaside, with its colors, textures and shapes. “
She regularly searches the shore for beautiful seashells offered by the sea, which she transforms into personalized molds and uses to make clay to form earrings or embellishments for her wall art, making them pieces. really unique.
Function is just as important to Ola as form, and she enjoys crafting pieces that can be used daily, such as mugs, mugs, cheese plates, soap dishes and more.
His extensive range of functional ceramics can be seen in his workshop at Ardgillan Castle during the week, at the Skerries Mills Market on Saturdays, and at the Bremore Castle Market in Balbriggan on Sundays.
Ola also offers a pottery / ceramics tasting course, consisting of two two-hour workshops, organized over two weeks.
Workshops are limited to two people per session, so book early by registering at: www.storiesbyola.com or call: 0857175001.
Ola’s studio is open to the public daily, but as there are no fixed hours, please call ahead to make an appointment.
You will find the art and the artist equally interesting and while you’re at it, find out what the rest of the collective are up to.