POLS CERAMIC: BAKED AT 1260°C
Delicate and simple lines are what we find in every one of the almost perfect pieces made by Gloria, the talented ceramicist behind “Pols Ceramic”. She discovered pottery almost instinctively and organically, after attending a workshop and suddenly, without knowing how or when, found herself looking for her own space, where she could feel and live the magic that she discovered while creating objects with her own hands. We unveil the work behind “Pols Ceramic” and its creator, Gloria.
SO BLUE: Gloria, tell me. What is it you do?
GLORIA: Before beginning my adventure with pottery, I worked as a fashion designer for about 7 years. When my son was born, my work perspective changed drastically and I decided to change its course to do something that truly fulfilled me, something that I enjoyed and made me feel accomplished.
SB: Why pottery?
G: It almost sneaked up on me, without even noticing it had always been close to me. My mother created pottery in a small workshop in Barcelona when she was young, and I guess she left behind small clues around the house which I’ve been collecting throughout the years and which, when brought together, have shown me a path in which I feel very comfortable.
It’s always caught my attention. It seemed – and even more so now – magical to be able to create a clay object with your hands which is transformed once it is dried, baked and enameled, into something of use. I think it’s beautiful. It’s also a very relaxing activity which helps me unwind and let go, listen to myself, get to know myself. From the moment I began making pottery, I’ve not only discovered an art form, I’m also discovering myself.
SB: How did you discover the world of ceramics?
G: My partner gifted me a class in a studio in Poble Sec (Barcelona) for my birthday. I couldn’t get enough…Little by little I increased the hours I spent with Misako and, when my hands asked for more, I took an intensive course with her. One day, I’m not sure how, I found a space and decided I was going to try something. I wasn’t sure what, but I felt the need to have my own space where I could continue to learn, practice and create pieces.
SB: Did you always think it would become your profession or did it start off as a hobby?
G: It started off as a hobby, but also as a need. After having my baby, I needed to have a few hours a week that were only for me. That is how it went from a hobby to a passion and then, later, to considering it as a way of living doing the thing I liked the most.
SB: Do you think people are starting to value “handmade” products?
G: I think it’s difficult to raise awareness in people. Handmade products are esteemed and they have a well-deserved place among the products in the marketplace, but I think it’s very difficult to find its consumers. Not everyone is willing to invest in pieces that have a high production cost due to the hours of manual labor; testing colors, materials and design…it’s also a high quality piece, treated in a completely unique manner.
We still have the bad habit of getting everything we want. Even at prices that imply production work conditions that none of us would wish to have for ourselves. There’s still a long way to go. I hope in the end each of us will value having a home with things that make us happy, appreciating each of them for what they are and where they came from.
SB: How do you work with ceramics? What is the process?
G: I like to work with a pottery wheel as it allows me to give the pieces an “almost perfect” aspect, even though they are never perfect. I use high quality clay and make each piece individually so as to give each its own personality and be able to thus transmit different sensations.
SB: How many hours does it take to make a piece?
G: The process for each piece is slow. Making the piece on the wheel is pretty quick, but then it has to be left to dry in order to be turned and polished. Once dry – depending on the piece it could take up to two days – we carry out a first firing (the bisque or biscuit) and, once out of the oven – approximately three days – we give it a coat of glaze and then bake again, this time at a higher temperature, 1260°C.
Each part of the process has its characteristics. It is a nice assembly line that transforms the piece; from a piece of clay up to, for example, a cup out of which to drink tea every morning.
SB: What are your main sources of inspiration?
G: I let myself be led greatly by my senses. I also give a lot of importance to the material; how it reacts and what its characteristics are…I try to work calmly, letting things take their course. Among them is magic, which always surprises…
SB: Do you produce in series or per requests?
G: Mainly per request, although in between I will go creating some pieces.
SB: Where can we buy your pieces?
G: I have almost everything in Iorana, a store in Gracia (Barcelona) although almost all of the requests have come to me through email. I like to be able to talk with the client, let them explain what they want, but most of all, I like to inform them on the step by step process of each piece I create, sending them photographs of the evolution, as I believe it’s beautiful to be able to really see how the piece you are buying is being made.
Text by Virgina Cámus
Photography by Aiala Hernando