Meeting Camille Romagnani
- You studied textile design at ENSCI – les Ateliers, what brought you to the clay material?
Before starting my design studies, I had this fantasized goal of becoming a designer to collaborate with artisans. Although I didn’t expect to produce the work myself! I started to work with ceramic after my diploma, when I arrived in Greece. And haven’t stopped since. The ceramic practice is a perfect blend of all my interests: technique, shapes, colors, materiality, drawing. It allows me to be independent by doing everything myself, and freely alternate between usable objects and sculpture.
- Can you take us through your creative process? Your techniques – the way you imagine forms and colors…
I start from a very simple idea, such as the color of the sky, the shape of a branch, a boulder composition, or the sound of a word. Words are a big source of inspiration. I like to play with them, to compare the translations in English, French, Greek and Chinese, to observe the graphics and etymology in each language. For example, I started my mountains series in 2019, because the street where I live and work in Athens can translate to « holy mountains ».
Once I have an idea, I work by hand sculpting, two or three pieces from the same series at a time. Each piece will stay on the table to be sculpted for several days or weeks. I usually start with the traditional technique of coiling. Then I experiment with a variety of tools to sculpt, scratch, add, engrave, draw, glaze… I work a lot with faïence for the bright colors, also enjoy porcelain and earthenware.
- Where do you get your inspiration from?
I find my inspiration outside. Mostly while walking in nature or jogging in parks. Life is in permanent evolution. The sky changes colors, plants grow, animals are on the move and interact. It’s beautiful every time.
Living in Greece, the island and the countryside are astonishing of beauty and are constant inspirations.
I also enjoy gardening, on the balcony in Athens or at my grandma’s house in the French countryside.
- How does being based in Athens impact your creativity and your productions?
Athens allowed me to experiment, to find my way of artistic expression. It gave me more studio space and time than in Paris. I met new friends, of various ages and origin, whose life and work experiences are nourishing. The bond with nature here is more intense, as the sea and the mountains are so beautiful and close from the city. It has also fed me with delicious food to enhance my creativity!
- Can you tell us a bit more about the pieces you made for Volume Ceramics?
The pieces selected by Volume Ceramics are a continuity in my creative process: I started ceramics working on the thematic on the mountain and volcano. Then, I felt I wanted to connect my ceramic work to another side of my practice developed in drawing and in textile for my ENSCI diploma, which is the colors of the sky. Then I thought to bring both mountain and sky together.
- Do you listen to music while working? Share with us your playlist at the studio!
I listen to lots of podcasts in the studio. I see podcast as an escape for the mind, while music is a mind and body experience.
It’s difficult for me to listen to music and do ceramic at the same time because then my body is not 100% focused on sculpture.
For music as well as news and podcast, I listen mostly to the French public radio (Radio France). I feel lucky to have such a quality radio service, from music discoveries to scientific, artistic, historic, documentary podcasts. I learn every day.
- Where do you see your practice headed in the future?
I aim to continue towards larger scale ceramics and find the balance between objects and sculptural work. I am always eager to learn new techniques and other crafts, such as metal work, wood sculpture, glass blowing … I wish to collaborate with a variety of craftspeople, artists, and places.
credits: Nicolas Melemis @melemis