Brutal. went to meet the ceramist Guillaume Taliercio/In Girum in his studio in Paris. Let's discover his universe through an interview.
What is your background and your training to get to ceramics?
I studied computer engineering "by default", for 5 years. When I got my diploma, I immediately felt that this life was not going to suit me and it was towards a manual trade that I decided to turn. After taking a few bookbinding evening classes with the Paris City Hall, I think I came across a YouTube video showing a potter at work and it made me want to try it.
After having done a small internship of 4 or 5 mornings at the ATC workshop with Rémi Fontaine, I decided to register with Augusto Tozzola to prepare for the CAP. So it's not originally a passion, but rather an escape, the passion came to me later, with the technique.
Are you self-taught or did you learn from someone else?
So I spent 1 year turning pots 7 hours a day, 5 days a week at Augusto Tozzola. Then I did a little enamel application course with Christophe Bonnard at ATC and I got started!
Do you remember your first play?
I remember the first enamel oven I fired in my workshop, in December 2014, it wasn't so bad! Even if very far from my current aesthetic, I had no drips and I was able to offer everything to my family at Christmas!
How would you define your job?
I just try to make simple, beautiful jars that people want to use. I quickly realized that what delights me the most is when a customer comes back to see me to tell me that he uses this or that jar he bought from me every day.
I am inspired by traditional European pottery, from the Bronze Age to the beginning of the 20th century. I am also not insensitive to Scandinavian and Asian aesthetics, Korean in particular. The school that claims to be Bernard Leach inspires me a lot, the Phil Rogers, Lisa Hammond, Jim Malone, Christine Pedley, etc. I dream of having an oven in which I can cook with salt or soda, I love the orange peel effect and the idea that it's really the cooking that decorates the pots almost 100%.
What is your creative and manufacturing process?
I think about the shape I'm going to make, according to my inspiration of the moment or quite simply the orders I have to honour, then I prepare the clay, I knead it for a while and I make balls of it that I weigh on my old scale. I turn the pots in question and let them dry. If necessary, after a day or two I turn the piece, that is to say, I remove the excess earth that I needed during the shaping and I place any additions such as the handles by example. Then comes the first firing at 1000°.
Once the pieces have been fired for the first time, as soon as I have enough of them, I wrap them up a bit and take them to the countryside where I have another workshop. There, I enamel them and put them in my gas oven where they will be fired at around 1290°C. After two days of lowering the temperature... it's ready!
I try to use more and more recycled materials. The ashes from my fireplace for the enamel and even a little earth that I find on the edge of vacant lots after the rain, but it does not serve me yet in the majority of my production.
What is your favorite technique? Your favorite moment in the process?
Favorite a bit by default... I don't know what to turn! But to be honest, the other techniques don't really interest me at the moment. I love it when I get lost in repetition and the pots line up on the board in front of me while I think about something else or listen to a podcast.
A well-prepared ground, on the well-centered lap, that's all I need.
What is your favorite material? What do you like about him?
The sandstone! Even though I learned exclusively about earthenware. The colors that can be achieved through reduction and high temperature are the ones that speak to me the most.
What inspires you outside of ceramics?
Difficult not to fall into a "Prévert" inventory, I will only quote the past in general - I always wonder what my ancestors would have done in my place - various underground cultural movements and a lot of reading.
When I'm not making pots, I play some music, mostly Metal. I have two bands right now, one called Heaume Mortal and another called Cowards.
Do you have a favorite pot?
My favorite is a very old booze bottle from Normandy. It is cooked with wood and salt and has a very raw appearance, it could definitely come from Japan! What I love is what she says. The potter who turned it had a very sure and dazzling gesture, he must have turned 60 others during the day, and as soon as he finished it, he forgot its existence. It has not even been turned and seen its deformations, I would even say that it has dried directly in the sun. It was also unglazed, as salt was going to be sprayed on it during cooking. We see that it has been cooked on the side, which is not very common anymore, salt having deposited on the underside. It is the quintessence of the aesthetics and the approach that I would like to achieve one day.
Can you tell us about one or more books on ceramics or something else?
My books on ceramics are rather technical, my bible at the moment is "Ash Glazes" by Phil Rogers. One of my favorite potters, from this British school which mixes oriental inspirations and European tradition. As its name suggests, it is a book on the art of making ash-based glazes.
What are your last significant trips or your travel desires?
My last trip was in September 2018, I did a two-week internship in South Korea with master potter Kwak Kyung Tae and his assistant Marco Minetti. I learned a lot there.
Otherwise, I'm not very travelling, I had the chance to see a lot of different countries with my parents when I was little. Today, I'm more of the type to look for a place I wouldn't want to leave...