Urpu was born in Finland in the 50s and studied textile design at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Kunste Stuttgart, including a one year weaving course in Sindelfingen. Urpu and her husband moved to Galloway in 1980.
Urpu began pottery by chance in 1992. “I was looking for tiles for the bathroom and didn’t find ones I liked so I went to the local pottery and asked for some clay to make them myself. Of course it went horribly wrong; they all warped and cracked. I was using the wrong type of clay and I had no experience at all but I got the notion to do something with clay. I started by making coiled and slab-built bowls, then fish to hang on the wall. Combining the ceramic fish with wood, metal, glass, acrylic and anything else suitable, my work has since developed into three dimensional sculptural forms. I have a great interest in language and its subtleties. I find English a rich source of ideas for my current work, especially puns and idioms, where a word may have more than one spelling and meaning but only one pronunciation. I love listening to people talking; sometimes just a slip of the tongue or a spoonerism gives me an idea.”
Often tongue-in-cheek, Urpu’s sculptures have proved popular in galleries in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Kirkcudbright, Wirral, Crieff and North Berwick, as well as at the Glasgow Art Fair, Edinburgh Art Fair, Dublin Art Fair and the Affordable Art Fair in London.