Jyri Rastas

Tampere (1956)

As a young man, Jyri Rastas obtained a degree in geology and pursued an academic career in Turku. He then moved to Tampere in the 1990s and studied to become a carpenter, renovating wooden houses. Whilst working, he also started making art, which reflects his Gaudiesque sense of form and handicraft skills.

Rastas combines a variety of techniques and hard materials in his works. This is how he has created pieces such as art furniture covered with mosaics, the legs of which seem to sway with the rhythm of their designs. Rastas explains that he steers clear of point angles and regular forms and prefers to use warm colours. He makes the mosaics for his works himself as this guarantees the shapes and colours he wants. Rastas’ technical skills are evident not only in his works of art but also in his tools, many of which he has made himself, including the ceramic kiln that he uses for firing his pieces.

Rastas has been creating works of art since the late 1990s, and his oeuvre includes a large number of different ceramic objects and miniature sculptures. His works include series of sculptures such as the slender-bodied Quiet Men as well as the Degenerate Monks with tiny heads. There are also numerous boxes with fantastically patterned lids. In addition to his works of art, Rastas has also built a great variety of stringed instruments and Nigerian udu drums with the head made of fish skin.

Text: Minna Haveri. Images: Leena Peltokangas.