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Unai: My first experience with clay was in my favourite class in school: workshop. Then a summer workshop with friends, then an annual course in my sister’s company, another year, then another and I was hooked already. After doing Fine Arts in Bilbao, I came to Barcelona to study artistic ceramics at the Escola Llotja, and after 7 years of working in the Sot Ceramics Workshop, I decided that I wanted to start working on my own.
For me, ceramics is a way of relating to the world and to myself. It is a way to learn, relate, express yourself and share. I take as it comes, transform it to give it a continuity and meaning. What I most enjoy is in those fleeting moments, when the world stops and there is only presence. You, the mud and what happens from that. It is a flow between the abstract and the real, which is full of meaning.
Each piece that I make is unique, and they all have something to tell. Some works are practical and functional, trying to flow between daily acts, but I try to make each piece a stimulating aesthetic experience.
Design is a process of coming and returning. Each element is a legacy of everything that is and a desire for everything that is possible. My job here is to search for the lucky encounter in this relationship. I work based on what I know and with an approximate purpose, but then it is the same process that guides me in each step. Each finished piece is a circle that closes and can no longer be altered, but opens another circle that arises from the previous one as a familiar reflection, but expressing its own particularity.
As for my favourite plants, I like the fresh texture of the moss, the shapes of the ferns, the dry smell of the pine, the meatiness of a cactus or the sensation of walking inside a forest. I love them all! They are not only the oxygen we breathe, the food that sustains us, the clothes we wear, the paper we write and read on … but also they are simply beautiful! The city is an artifice that separates us from the natural environments and having plants in our houses brings us closer to that relationship and reminds us that we are but part of a whole.
You can find more of Unai’s beautiful ceramic works as poetic as his words here. 🙂