Brutal. went to meet the ceramist Stéphane Raymond in his studio in Paris. She founded Atelier Setsuko. Let's discover his universe through an interview.
What is your background and your training to get to ceramics?
I have always practiced photography since I was 16 and in high school I set up a small lab to develop black and white rolls and make prints. After the baccalaureate I followed higher studies in cinema at La Fémis in the image department. For 4 years I studied light and frame in cinema. A large part of the training took place around the film, its exposure and the choices of development. I then worked for 10 years on set as a camera assistant and chief operator. The tools of the cinema very quickly evolved towards digital. In 2012, I started taking ceramic turning lessons as a hobby in a workshop run by a Japanese woman, Kayoko Hayasaki. The contact with the earth immediately appealed to me a lot. I spent 4 years in this workshop, without real guidance, but with great freedom and the kindness necessary to want to go further. After the birth of my daughter, a life made up of sometimes distant and irregular shoots was complicated to organize and I felt that something was missing. I took advantage of a moment of calm to begin professional training in Montreuil in the workshop "Les chemins de la céramique". After a month of training it was clear in my head. I wanted to open my studio in Paris and give lessons. I found a place very quickly after the training and the workshop has now been open for 2 and a half years. I rediscovered in the slowness of the work of the clay, in the research of the enamels and the randomness of the firings, the magic that I had loved then lost in the cinema with the disappearance of the film. And then I stay in the shoot!
Are you self-taught or did you learn from someone else?
I owe everything to my teacher from Montreuil, Luna Salinas, who was wonderful, knew how to guide me and gave me confidence.
Do you remember your first play?
Absolutely not. On the other hand, I remember the first large piece that started to sing when I closed its collar. On the lathe, the sound box which is a large pot filled with air emits a song as it turns. It was magical and surprising. I felt like the earth was talking to me. It may sound a little ridiculous but for me it was a real epiphany.
How would you define your job?
A physical and creative, humble and endless work.
What is your creative and manufacturing process?
I don't have a real manufacturing "trick" yet, but let's say that what interests me above all else is working with the material. I like simple things, raw textures, white enamels, earth colors, patinas. I am only at the very beginning of my research.
What is your favorite technique? Your favorite moment in the process?
I like all the moments, all the techniques. Really. I think it's the variety that appeals to me.
What is your favorite material? What do you like about him?
Sandstone for its solidity, its impurities, its "naturalness".
What inspires you outside of ceramics?
Art in general, painting, photography, the so-called "primary" arts above all, museums, cooking, travel, Asia. I am naturally very curious.
Can you tell us about one or more books on ceramics or something else?
"Artisan and Unknown" by Soetsu Yanagi is my bible. "The potter's wisdom" by Jean Girel that I read at the beginning of my training spoke to me a lot. I really like Jean Girel. I strongly recommend a very beautiful film on part of his research called "Yohen, the universe in a bowl" by Yannick Coutheron. A jewel.
What are your last significant trips or your travel desires?
Japan, always, of course. Japanese culture has always nurtured me. And the bond with this country does not relax, it strengthens. But I also like to have the nostalgia of Japan. And then I have been limiting the plane as much as possible for some time. So go back to Japan of course but for a long time and not often. Korea has interested me for years but I've never been there. I like to mature the desire to travel for a while, through readings and films. But as I said air travel for me is a bit complicated. The airports I loved so much when I was little disgust me now. They are places of unbridled, irresponsible and vulgar consumption. I have always loved Italy and the United Kingdom and I can say that the next trips will be by night train to Venice... or Scotland. I also dream of mountains. Summer. The Alps are magnificent. The Mediterranean... Stromboli... Amorgos... In summary I am fascinated by volcanoes, islands and mountains.