Funny thing happened this week. I was super busy preparing for the craft market in Ribnica and Pinching marathon workshop which will both happen this weekend. On Wednesday I got a call from wife of the owner of Tera RD d.o.o., now a closed Slovenian company. She offered us kiln bricks and some other ceramic materials. I quickly called Živa and off we went to get some more bricks!
So I would like to tell you more about Tera RD. Because for me their story is a little sad, but the end ends with chocolate so… Tera RD started as a ceramic company, somewhere around 1980. The owner told us that was the golden times for ceramics in former country of Yugoslavia. Not many people were producing decorative ceramic. But those who did earned a great deal of money. In that times banks were buying big sculptures, national insurances and other companies were proudly showing of their wealth with different art pieces they purchased from artists. The family saw an opportunity and joined a small ceramic industry in Mlaka, Komenda. They owned few buildings and a good team of workers. Company that was there first was LPK LONČARSKO PODJETJE KOMENDA, proizvodnja uporabne kmečke in okrasne keramike, d.o.o., producing traditional functional and decorative wheel-thrown ceramics. After Tera RD took over and modernised it, wheel-thrown ceramics and tradition started fading away with fast production of ceramics in moulds. In the beginning of the 90’s, after Yugoslavia fell apart and Slovenia became independent, everyone wanted to become global. Meaning that everyone wanted to buy cheap things from other countries, goods which were impossible to get in former Yugoslavia. So the owner started to import from China. We all know that era. Time, when plastic overtook clay, dark times when it was all about how cheap and easy it was to buy from other countries. My grandmothers were obsessed with plastic. Everything was plastic even the table cloths and flowers on the table. I never understood that, I was angry, but now I understand and I forgive. For them plastic meant easy availability, lightness, convenience – something new and useful. Now the age of plastic is finished or at least I want it to believe it is. For everyone!
Tera Rd closed recently, stopped importing and you know what they do now? Producing natural soaps and Slovenian chocolate with flavours of tradition; potica, pehtran and so on. The new shop will be opened in Škofja Loka soon with the new brand name Dolce Amore. I tried their dark chocolate with white lemon and it was very delicious! They still need to get rid of cheap China products, but once they do, I will forgive them as well. Forgive them for not fighting the tough times, for not standing up for our traditional ceramics, for not going through difficult times when our ceramic needed nurturing most.
I thank them for providing us with materials they had had from ceramic times, for the feldspars and kiln bricks, clays and pigments. Hell I even purchased a huge ball mill yesterday, days before they give the keys to the new owner of the sold property.
Rest in piece old ceramic factory.