There’s something very comforting in Sonia and Jaime’s work. Natural, earthy colours, primitive and organic shapes, and a sense of balance and equilibrium evoke the soothing feeling of being deep in full nature. We immediately felt that the collaboration between ROWSE and Época Ceramic was meant to be.
We talk with them about their passion for artisanal work and the constant lessons that nature has to offer.
How did you get into ceramics?
A few years ago we were living in Malasaña neighbourhood, in Madrid’s city centre. We had our workshop and photography studio there. There was a pottery school right in front of our door and after a few months of hesitation we eventually started taking classes. A whole new world opened to us.
You moved from Madrid to the countryside. How important is for you and your practice to live and work close to nature?
We were desperate to get out of the city. We spent two long years searching for our dream house until we found this magical place in the middle of the forest in San Lorenzo del Escorial. Working in a natural environment is at the core of our practice. We can’t even imagine returning to the city. Getting to appreciate and learn from nature every single day, it’s been a real change for us, in terms of tranquillity, health as well as inspiration.
Earthy colours, uneven textures, organic shapes. Tell us about your aesthetic universe, where do you draw inspiration from?
For us, inspiration is not something linear and homogeneous. It changes over time and also with our mood. Our sources of inspiration continue to change every day and that’s how it becomes dynamic, fluid.
Each piece is unique and entirely made by hand. What do you like about working with your own hands?
We both started working at a very young age, and working with our own hands was already fundamental for our practice. It makes you feel present and it’s always relaxing.
Time is also very important when working with ceramics. What have you learned working with natural materials and processes?
You can learn important life lessons from ceramics, it’s a good mirror too. In your hands, clay is alive and you need to respect the process. You work on uncertainty, hope, self-confidence, patience and also being present. Working with ceramics is like having a wise person always at your side.
Tell us about your pieces for ROWSE.
We created the plate and the set of bowl and spoon inspired by the organic forms and textures of coastal sand rocks, smoothed and sculpted by wind and wave erosion. Everything in our practice revolves around nature, sometimes even with no purpose or aim in mind.
You also create sculptural mobiles. What does balance mean to you?
We have the feeling that the world around us is in some respects unbalanced. Unconsciously, we seek equilibrium, calm, order and serenity. These pieces could work as our way of attracting balance.
And what about beauty, could you define it for us?
The idea of beauty is so huge that, honestly, it’s difficult for us to capture its essence in just a few words.
Photography by Sonia Pueche