Brutal. went to meet the ceramist Mathilde Martin in her studio north of Paris. Let's discover his universe through an interview.
What is your background and your training to get to ceramics?
I started ceramics at 7 years old. It's the only childhood hobby that I never stopped until I entered high school. I really learned the basics of modeling there. It was above all very playful, I loved it. I lived in the house next door and I had the chance to go there twice a week. It was around the age of 20 that I started making it regularly until it got so big that I decided to quit my job as a sommelier at the time to devote myself completely to it.
Are you self-taught or did you learn from someone else?
I learned the basics when I was young, but it was mainly by doing (and by failing) that I understood how to approach the earth. I also followed a few hours of tour with Augusto Tozzola, even if I don't practice at all I found it interesting to have a complete approach to the techniques.
Do you remember your first play?
The very first child must have been a little turtle, which my grandparents still have by the way.
How would you define your job?
Sensitive and intuitive. My emotions influence my work a lot. When I'm in a bad mood or sad it often doesn't work.
What is your creative and manufacturing process?
It depends. Sometimes very spontaneous, I start to model and I see where it leads. Sometimes with research, sketches.
What is your favorite technique? Your favorite moment in the process?
Pinching and turning bowls. When I'm done with the piece, looking at it from all angles and lights and knowing it "works".
What is your favorite material? What do you like about him?
Chamotted sandstone. It's very organic. The chamotte allows a very good grip on the finger and an easier joint in the assembly stages. I also like its raw aesthetic.
What inspires you apart from ceramics?
Everything can be a source of inspiration. The light of a photograph, the material on a painting, the design of an object. I also listen to a lot of interviews and podcasts on just about every possible subject. It is very nourishing and important in my working process.
Can you tell us about one or more books on ceramics or something else?
Lucie Rie by Tony Birks is a must.
The beauty of everyday things by Soetsu Yanagi
What are your last significant trips or your travel desires?
I haven't traveled much lately but definitely Asia. I am fascinated by their approach to ceramics. As much on the turning of extremely delicate utilitarian parts in Japan and the impressive and gigantic parts in Korea with the onggi technique. I would love to go to the Middle East as well.