Brutal. went to meet the ceramist Joséphine Viot in her studio in Les Lilas. Let's discover his universe through an interview.
What is your background and your training to get to ceramics?
Studies in Applied Arts, Bac, then license of architecture, which showed me that in the volume, it is more the object than the space that interests me. So BTS Design Products. Then a year at the IEAC, School of Ceramic Arts in Alsace. Because the object yes, but especially not en masse. To find meaning in the creation of objects, which are already flooding the planet, it must be attached to a person. I needed to find this meaning otherwise I didn't feel legitimate creation. During the Product Design training I did a one-month internship with a wonderful ceramist, and it didn't let me down, the more I discover, the more I want...
Are you self-taught or did you learn from someone else?
I learned everything from the speakers and teachers of this school, who sought as much to pass on their techniques to us as their way of developing an artistic project.
Do you remember your first play?
Surely a kind of clumsy bowl, my internship supervisor being mainly a turner. But the first striking piece was that of the very first exercise at school, a coil pitcher in basic white stoneware, previously drawn with strips of newspaper stuck randomly on a sheet... I still have this pitcher that I love it, it's heavy.
How would you define your job?
I attach as much importance to the finished object as to the technique, the process, and the raw material used. It all has to tell the same story. And I think a lot about the use or the place of the pieces I create, in our universe, our habits. Also for that, I only work in very small series.
In the end, I believe that my pieces are often discreet in appearance but always singular.
What is your favorite technique? Your favorite moment in the process?
I particularly like the moment when I prepare the clay, I choose the clays to mix for their behavior, their weight, their color, their texture... It's as if I were choosing the character traits of the character I'm going to model . Even for a plate...
What is your favorite material? What do you like about him?
Porcelain, its irreverence. Its suppleness and whiteness make it a land of infinite possibilities. But her character and her memory make her capricious and independent. It's always fun to play with such a tool.
What inspires you outside of ceramics?
The light, looking at it, at different times of the day, the way it gives shape to volumes and its temperatures, which gives them texture. Any form of ornaments, ornaments, for the search for meaning, how do you show your person through materials, objects that you choose to wear, that you integrate into your universe. For me it's the first link between the soul of people and the objects that surround them, it inspires me as much to create tableware as furniture, sculptures.
Can you tell us about one or more books on ceramics or something else?
I'm thinking of a book, "La Consigne, the drawings of crafts" published by Ateliers d'Arts de France. I really like discovering a person's other languages. Other people's ceramics inspire me less than other creative mediums. In this book, we open the creative universe of a craftsman to another field of expression: his graphic research. How does his volume dialogue with his images, how does he think volume through the image. I find this kind of mixture particularly fertile.
What are your last significant trips or your travel desires?
From a ceramic point of view, it was a two-month trip to Morocco, I discovered Arab, Muslim, Berber cultures there, other than through beautiful Instagram images... and I will definitely come back. I am currently discovering Polynesian culture and territories, with too little ceramics, but the natural elements and landscapes that are part of everything, everywhere. I'm going to linger a while longer here, the Pacific is great... But then I want to travel from Nepal, to join the Silk Road, and go to Turkey. And discover, everywhere, how the hands of men, women and children make things, eat, heal...