Meet The Face Behind


A BRIKA maker story

Asya Palatova


For Asya Palatova, the owner of the company Gleena, ceramics was love at first touch. Founded in 2002, "gleena" means "clay" in Russian. Originally from St. Petersburg, Asya spent her early childhood summers at her family dacha, a Russian country house. A gathering place for family and friends and surrounded by her grandmother's carefully tended gardens and apple trees, the dacha serves as muse for Palatova's work and is a source of endless inspiration for Asya's organic shapes. "At her dacha, my grandmother entertained all of the time and served all of the meals outside," says Asya. "My dishes take me back there."

Asya began working with clay in 1992 while studying graphic design at University of Cincinnati. After many years in New York City working as a graphic designer, Asya attended the Rhode Island School of Design, earning an MFA with a concentration in ceramics in 2004.

Asya merges classical and modern to develop objects with a purity of form that compel people to touch and use them. Not only does Asya have a beautiful story, but her studio, housed in an old mill building in Pawtucket, Rhode Island is the stuff that artisan dreams are made of. It is here that she starts by casting her own formula of porcelain slip in handmade plaster molds. Each piece is glazed, applied with an image transfer and fired three times. Her plates, bowls and cups are works of art, but they are dishwasher safe and designed to be used frequently. "It looks fragile, but porcelain is an extremely durable material," Asya says.

"I am constantly inspired by petals, leaves, seeds, pods, shells, stones, insects, birds, animals," says Asya, whose pieces feature mellow hues and vintage images of birds and insects. "I am concerned about how much damage humans inflict on the natural world. My pieces are a small way of keeping humans aware of the creatures and plants we share our planet with."