Brutal. went to meet the ceramist Madoka Rindal in her workshop in Romainville. Let's discover his universe through an interview.
What is your background and your training to get to ceramics?
I studied graphic design which was my job for more than 10 years, especially in the press, fashion, publishing... Then when I had my youngest daughter in 2013, I started taking ceramics lessons, I I had wanted to for several years but I had not found the time until this moment. My daughter was barely 1 month old when I started, I remember having milk surges during my first lessons…!
Are you self-taught or did you learn from someone else?
I started with weekly modeling classes that I followed for 2 years, then a training course in enamel making. Then I started alone in my workshop. I had to make a lot of mistakes and grope because I didn't know any ceramists around me to share my questions and my experiences. But being alone with my mistakes helped me develop my own way of working.
Do you remember your first play?
Yes it is a small triangular bowl in white sandstone with scratched stripes on the outside and a transparent enamel, the base of the bowl being rounded it is absolutely not stable. But we continue to use it at home despite the cold sweats that come with its use.
How would you define your job?
I make utility parts for everyday use; they are made by modeling, this gives slightly quirky shapes.On my red sandstone pieces that I enamel in white, I draw faces.
I grew up in Japan where traditionally it is believed that a spirit inhabits objects, plants, rivers, stones, mountains or places, ancient trees are considered sacred.The gesture of drawing faces on my ceramics is a way to remind myself of this belief and to transmit it in my own way.
What is your creative and manufacturing process?
Most of the time I jot down ideas on paper in drawings when they come to me, then I try to realize them in clay when I have time.
What is your favorite technique? Your favorite moment in the process?
My favorite technique is modeling without hesitation, and my favorite moment the first stage of modeling where you take the ball of clay and start to form it with your hands little by little, this feeling that everything is still raw with the hope of to something finer.
What is your favorite material? What do you like about him?
I use a red sandstone and a black sandstone with large chamotte. I love these 2 lands for different but complementary reasons; the red allows me to have a kind of white canvas to draw and the black chamotte for the nature of this raw and expressive earth on its own.
What inspires you apart from ceramics?
Any kind of thing that I'm going to feel an intimate connection to. It's very vast and vague, but it can go from art in general to more spontaneous things like a conversation, a facial expression, a noise... after all, I'm not saying that all inspiration necessarily leads to a piece in ceramics, on the contrary…!
Can you tell us about one or more books on ceramics or something else?
One of the only books I have read on ceramics is “Le livre du potier” by Bernard Leach, it was very interesting for me as a Japanese who learned ceramics in France, to read about Japanese ceramic traditions through the eyes of of a European of that time at the beginning of the last century.“Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers” is one of the books that I read at the beginning of my ceramic period which helped me to assume my aesthetic choices.And a last classic book but an ever green “Letters to a young poet” by Rilke which I read before becoming a ceramist and which gave me a lot of courage.
What are your last significant trips or your travel desires?
I don't travel a lot to new destinations at the moment since I have children because I am a Japanese living in Paris, married to a Norwegian, so our trips are limited to visiting our respective families. Even if it's very pleasant and important, I dream of going on a long trip like we did before becoming parents. It was a 3 month trip during which we had crossed Eurasia: we had left Stockholm, then passed through Helsinki, St Petersburg and boarded the Trans-Siberian in Moscow to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia where we stayed in a yurt in the middle of the steppe, stopping by Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Lake Baikal, then crossed China by train and bus discovering the most remote regions to go to Hanoi where we had traveled in the north of the country in bike for 3 weeks. I can't wait to be able to take a trip like this with my children!