For this month's workspace we visited Andrea Roman the potter behind our new hand thrown marbled beakers...
Tell us about your work? I make functional ceramic pieces with the thought of encouraging people to take the time to enjoy everyday routines and to treasure the objets they choose to be surrounded by.
What materials do you use? I mainly work with stoneware clay sourced from Staffordshire in the UK adding molochite, iron or sand to create different textures and finishes. I like to mix different shades of clay together to generate a marbling effect resembling distant landscapes of sedimented formations. I love how tactile the clay can be and it's very important for me to highlight the attractive qualities of the clay bodies I work with, always leaving a large portion of the surface untouched by glaze.
Where and how did you learn your craft? I studied industrial design in Mexico City (UNAM) specialising in slip casting and industrial production of ceramics. When I arrived in London in 2013 I found a great shared studio space called Turning Earth, there's where I learnt how to throw on the potter's wheel and felt deeply connected to this amazingly tactile and intimate way of making.
Describe your workspace
I recently moved from Turning Earth Hoxton to the new Turning Earth centre in Lea Bridge. I work alongside many other talented potters, sharing ideas, knowledge, techniques, achievements and frustrations. The open space is really bright, located in the middle of an industrial estate on the side of the Lea River. I cycle from Victoria Park through the Hackney Marshes to get here and on sunny days it is just amazing. There's lots of windows providing us with the most beautiful balance between light and shadows. I have a beautiful old ware trolley were I keep all my works in progress, tools, clay and fired work. We don't have private tables or wheels, one day you are at one wheel and the next one you can be at a different spot. I think this helps to keep the space cleaner and tidier. The studio is a bit in the middle of nowhere but I really like the idea that you come here to focus on your work, with no temptations. At lunch time we all sit on the table and share nice bread and toppings using our freshly fired wares. Being a potter can sometimes be a really isolating job, so it is really enjoyable to incorporate the community element by sharing a working space.
What inspires you, both in your work and life in general? As much as this has been said, I find nature and its intricate complexity really fascinating; landscapes, textures, formations, structures, patterns... The idea of being able to manage your own time and earn your living doing what you love.
How did you come to work with TOAST? TOAST's Product Developer, Jessica Adams, came to Turning Earth for a ceramic workshop and got engaged with the community and studio events. In one of the open studio sales where we all showcase and sell our work, she invited me to have a chat with her about selling my work through TOAST. It's been a great privilege and pleasure to work with such a great team of people.
Images by Sebastin Ayala.