Rhea Kalo is a new Athens based creative studio focused on making stimulating art, design pieces and usable objects. Everything is made by hand, with attention to detail and a flair for the unusual.
1) Welcome Rhea! We're excited to feature your new baby, Rhea Kalo in APOELLA. Tell us your story behind it.
Thank you! I’m equally excited! I am a huge Apoella fan and am absolutely thrilled to see my creations on your site and in some of your shops!
The Rhea Kalo story is a lockdown story - a personal passion project that started in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and eventually grew into something larger, which I embraced with excitement. I create stimulating objects that are usable but occasionally unusual. Rhea Kalo is the opposite of “fast fashion” - everything is handmade and hand painted and most of my objects can have a second life as something else; for example, a candle can become an espresso cup and a vase can become a candle holder.Find Them Here
2) What led you into working with ceramics? Are you self-taught or have you learned it from someone else?
Greece has a long tradition of pottery and ceramics, so I have inevitably been exposed to clay from a young age. I’ve always taken technical art courses on the side, parallel to studies or work, and in 2020 I attended a few pottery courses in Athens prior to the pandemic. I love ceramics because they have a purpose and my creations go on to have a life as an object in someone else’s home. However, I would say that painting is both the start and end point of my work.
Find Them Here
3) What is your main source of inspiration when painting and creating your ceramic objects?
I constantly absorb things around me, like a sponge, and find that anything and everything can inspire me. Even negative feelings can be transformed into something beautiful and meaningful. My daughters are also a huge source of inspiration. The way children create is so true and uninhibited. It takes a lot of effort to reach that state as an adult.
4) You're a mommy, a wife, an entrepreneur and a business woman - how do you balance it all?
I feel blessed to have created my own beautiful family. Like a lot of young mothers out there, I have to wear different hats and I also work a lot. Many women in similar situations, myself included, often feel more guilty than they do proud. The feeling that you’re under performing, both at home and at work, can be quite strong, especially in the early years. It has been a journey with a steep learning curve and some very long days, but ultimately I feel very confident and fulfilled on all fronts. I am very energetic and driven but also lucky to not be in it alone!
5) Which one is your favorite APOELLA destination?
6) What's in your weekend bag?
Sunglasses, a book, pareos, swimwear by Stefania Frangista -my cousin’s line-, a couple of sandals and colorful summer dresses and playsuits. I’m embarrassed to say that I own the Apoella Erifylli playsuit in more colors than I probably should!
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7) Your ideal summer in Greece is...
No plans, no noise, no crowds. Enjoying the beautiful surroundings we have been blessed to have at our feet, with my loved ones.
8) Which Greek artist inspires you?
It is always hard to pick one, but lately I have been very drawn to and inspired by the work of Dimitris Pikionis, an iconic modernist architect and luminary, known among other things for transforming the Acropolis landscape through his famous surrounding paved roads - an incredible work of art in its own right.