Ceramics and pottery haven’t featured too heavily this week, which is a bit of a surprise, I feel a little like I’m getting withdrawal symptoms at the moment so I’ve been on the search for a series this morning to fill the void. Chance would have it that I stumbled upon the talents of Clair Catillaz’s earlier who runs her own studio in northern Brooklyn within the Greenpoint area, and I was really taken with her collection of white stoneware and porcelain wares she creates for everyday use. Typically, as I’m sure you’ve noted in the imagery already, Clair opts for quite a simplistic colour palette putting greater emphasis on the shapes she creates on the wheel.
I was surprised to learn that Clair actually works on a manual kick wheel opposed to an electric setup which you will certainly respect if you’ve ever given this craft a try before, I found it hard enough learning with the wheel spinning at a consistent pace. She’s obviously mastered the traditional way of working and it’s always nice to come across individuals passionate about taking the majority of control themselves. One individual that springs to mind here is woodturner Robin Wood who also decided that the electric system wasn’t for him, he actually found he worked more efficiently this way and perhaps this is the case with Clair also.
As an artist she’s driven by a desire to create things that will be useful to their owner for years to come, all her glazes are hand mixed and food safe which have proved popular in the local area, with many restaurants and bars commissioning work from the Clam Lab. Having lived in Brooklyn for five years this fall Clair is continually inspired by the creative community around her and shares her studio with a number of fellow artists. Something we’ve been discussing in the office this week that feels relevant here is where the border lies between making objects that are created merely for visual appeal and those that have a use and a function each day.
Clair obviously strives to create items that have a real purpose but there is also great beauty and poise in what she’s making in my opinion. I think when this balance is found it makes the everyday objects around us take on greater significance and hopefully in the near future we can bring you all works like these in our own shop that have equal measure of artistry and use. In the meantime I’d really recommend a visit across to the Clam Lab website and blog for an added dose of creative inspiration. Go have a look around yourself and see what you think, I trust you won’t be disappointed with what you find.