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Teulat & Una Mesa

Few words with

Elena López (Una Mesa)
Tell us something about Elena / Unamesa.

I have always loved working within the world of Art. Since I was a child, I was always drawing. Naturally, I studied Fine Arts, Sculpture, scenography and had an editorial and risograph studio in Barcelona called Lentejas Press. I love shooting analogue photographs, painting murals with friends and, what I enjoy the most since a time ago, it’s making ceramic.

When did you start with ceramic? What does it mean to you?

For a long time, I was keen on practising it, but due to different reasons, in the end, it never happened. But three years ago, I decided to take a course at Cuit, a Valencian ceramic workshop, where it all started.

I love working with my hands and the process of the ceramic it’s almost like playing. You take your bidimensional idea from your head and transform it into a volume. In my work, I also play with functional limits and the artistic aspect of objects.

I don’t just create utility pieces, like mugs and dishes, but also make decorative vases. For me, it matters to blend the craftsmanship, which only has a function and a defined purpose, with what is just merely artistical, decorative or contemplative.

You recently started your workshop, Plou Estudi. How has this change been?

For a long time, this idea has been in my head, creating a space where I can develop my project, but at the same time, somewhere where other artists can share their creations and collaborate. I also needed a place to teach and share courses and workshops related to ceramics and painting.

In the end, this space is where I can show what I do and what people create in this workspace. Plou Estudi also allows me to bring projects of artist friends and, in this way, expose what is currently going on in and outside Valencia.

As I said, I have been thinking about this for a long time, and finally, the time has come to do it.

Do you think there is a resurgence of interest in ceramics?
Valencia has always been a city closely related to ceramics; it’s part of our tradition due to its proximity to Manises and its ceramics school. But there has indeed been a boom in everything related to ceramics, both with the number of creators and the public who consume this type of product. The artisan, the handmade and the unique are pretty valued again.
Is there a fundamental referent for your work?
My referents are continuously changing, but ceramicists like Xanthe Somers or Brutes London inspire me and love their work. Although they are not always just potters, artists like Antonio Ladrillo or Sofia Shizas accompany me in the creation processes, so I could say they are also referents.
Tell us about your collaboration with Teulat. How has been working with them? What challenges did you face?
It has been both a pleasure and a challenge doing so many pieces, I have learnt a lot about processes and timings, and the result is these handmade objects with their unique marks and differences. The detail of the “tag” in different colours with Teulat’s logo on the side directly relate it to the brand. Also, I have never done candle recipients, which I found super interesting while making it and seeing the final result.
A favourite piece of Teulat?
Well, it’s hard! All the armchairs seem beautiful, but I would opt for the two Arq tables, the coffee and the side table. With geometric shapes but rounded finishes, they are completely functional pieces but at the same time with a very high aesthetic value.
Is there a kind of object that you haven’t done yet but want to give a try?
Right now, I am working with small creations; mini vases. I like the idea of working with different dimensions and with the balance of shapes.
An iconic/recurring piece in your work?
Well, I think that cups with exaggerated handles are what people ask me the most and what I have made the most during the time I have been doing ceramics.
Something else that you want to say? Plans for the future?
Future is in Plou Estudi, in its courses, workshops, exhibitions and shows, but also collaborations with artists. Share ideas with other brands and create projects like the one with Teulat.

Interviewed: Elena López (Una Mesa)
Photography: Cualiti
Text: Cambres Design

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