Meeting + interview with Nolwenn Baillet

Brutal. went to meet the ceramist Nolwenn Baillet in her Parisian studio. Let's discover his universe through an interview.

What is your background and your training to get to ceramics?

I did several odd jobs in sales, accounting, before realizing that I wanted to work with my hands. I started training in clothing design, but I quickly realized that it was not my universe. I found myself in the audiovisual sector, I was in charge of production and I took pottery lessons in the evening to keep a link with manual work.

Are you self-taught or did you learn from someone else?

I discovered pottery by doing a wecandoo workshop, I liked this first contact with the earth and I decided to take classes in the evening, I ended up doing 5 hours of pottery per week. Then when I left my job as production manager, I started training with Augusto Tozzola, master potter with 80 years of experience.

Do you remember your first play?
Yes it was during the initiation course, I had made a small cup on the wheel, it is not straight, not turned, in earthenware and enamelled in white, I kept it in memory of the very first one!
How would you define your job?
I define it as simple, raw, imperfect. I work on a wheel, with stoneware, most of the time chamotte, I like this aspect, I don't try to make perfect pieces even if I learn perfection from Augusto. I like the idea that each piece, even shot in series, is unique, authentic .

What is your creative and manufacturing process?

I turn a lot, I start from a model to test other shapes. I also work on modeling, but for clay with a lot of chamotte. For enamels, I do a lot of research and testing.

What is your favorite technique? Your favorite moment in the process?

My favorite technique is the turn. It's very calming, it's a kind of meditation, I'm rather impatient, and the fact of filming brings me back to the present moment. You have to manage the speed of the turn and the hands, focus only on the piece.

What is your favorite material? What do you like about him?

It's sandstone. I only use sandstone, in fine or medium chamotte, in different shades. I like its appearance and the final rendering, very raw.
What inspires you apart from ceramics?
Cooking, flowers, the sea... I love to cook, especially cakes, when I make a plate, I have to want to eat from it. Flowers inspire me, I like to have a beautiful bouquet in my studio and the sea soothes me!
Can you tell us about one or more books on ceramics or something else?
The book that I use the most at the moment is "Ceramic enamels and glazes: more than 1100 formulas" by Alexandre Avon and Wolf Matthes. But otherwise I read a lot of cookbooks!