On our recent visit to Ibiza, we were introduced to Laura De Grinyo, a talented ceramicist whose work takes place in the heart of the island’s wild landscape. Here, we chat to Laura about how she found her craft, and the therapeutic, almost hypnotic, quality of working with clay.
We’re in love with your ceramics and want to fill a suitcase with them before we go home. When did you realise that being a ceramicist was your destiny?
Thank you for your kind words. I have always been fascinated by ancient civilizations, crafts and ceramics that have somehow left us information about our legacy. Before working with ceramics, I had a small clothing brand made by local artisan women from Ibiza and Catalonia. But in 2017, I decided to move on from that project and focus on developing other disciplines that interested me, such as illustration, photography and artistic direction. It was in 2019 that I got my hands on clay for the first time and I fell deeply in love with the material and the tradition that goes with it.
Your Ibizan workshop looks like one of the most tranquil settings on earth. Can you tell us a bit more about your surroundings and what they bring to the creative process?
I am very thankful to be able to work where I live, right in the middle of nature and where I spent most of my life, Ibiza. Nature has always been my greatest teacher and source of inspiration. My work usually reflects my environment with its colour palette and organic textures. I feel very lucky to have grown up on this island and to be able to nurture my creative world through its nature and harmony.
Are you drawn to any season in particular?
The truth is that each season has its magic, but spring is always my favorite, full of life, colour and a true feeling of prosperity.
We’re fascinated by the process of creating pottery and the circularity of it – failings can be re-worked into successes. How have you learnt to cope with the unpredictable nature of working with clay?
My working method includes both wheel and hand-built techniques. That’s why I sometimes experience a sensation of trance when my hands dance along with the clay in a choreography marked by circularity and spirals. Sometimes you make mistakes, but you have to accept them and integrate them as part of the process. Usually, a mistake can be the inspiring starting point for a future piece.
Your work is very physical and tangible, using your hands to mould clay from the earth, yet you’re interested in the metaphysical, alchemy and frequencies, which we find intriguing – can you tell us more about how these interests intersect for you?
Indeed! I’ve always been fascinated and intrigued by natural fractals – we are surrounded by them! These go hand in hand with frequencies and the magic they create together. In ceramics, this alchemy is found in its main element, clay, and how it intersects with the other elements such as water, air and fire, the result is often unexpected but always amazing.
What part of the making process gives you the most satisfaction?
Each bit of the ceramic processes has its charm. But my favorites are wheel throwing, trimming and carving.
What advice would you give to amateur ceramicists?
I would recommend that they enjoy every moment they have with the clay to stop time and reconnect with silence and themselves. It is pure therapy and if you treat clay with respect, it teaches you a lot.
Who are the women you’re inspired by?
Antonia, a local textile artisan from Ibiza, Lucie Rie, Bárbara Hepworth, Wendy Carlos, Edith Heath, Ruth Asawa, Valentine Schlegel, Helen Frankenthaler, the list goes on!
Follow Laura on her Instagram @ladioceramics.
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