TALKING ABOUT CRAFTS: SARA MANTOVANI TELLS ABOUT HERSELFEfesti
From the passion for the soil and for the art, combined with the use of accurate techniques, take shape the unique pieces of the young potter Sara Mantovani, from Ferrara. Bowls, vases and sculptures are few examples of her creations, the result of the combination of materials made in Italy and a strong desire of expression, constrantly evolving. Efesti interviewed for you Sara Mantovani: six responses to six questions about herself and her craft.
– Where, when, why. Tell us about your first steps into the world of crafts and the reasons that induced you to work with your hands.
I’ve always had artistic ambitions so the desire to test my hands, the clay and the colors pushed me to undertake artistic studies. I attended the Art Institute in Ferrara, in classic décor, measuring myself with the manufacturing of clay, wood and all those materials that can be manipulated. Subsequently, I enrolled at the Institute G.Ballardini in Faenza – specialized in ceramic – choosing to follow the course of sculptural ceramic and working with “rough materials” that lend well themselves to large works. Finally, after short time, I opened my own workshop in Ferrara. So, for all my life, I practically did ceramics. I’ve unconsciously taken up this career because I can’t say that it was a pondered choice… it was what I’ve always dreamed about and I’ve liked to do, I decided to throw myself headlong into this work – for me wonderful. A job that has changed over time, because I vary the things that I do. My work has always been a great mystery, as well as a way for me to bring out what I have inside and then materialize it, make it concrete. Expressing it also helped me to understand many things about me.
– What is the philosophy of the brand? What values would you like to communicate through your creations?
There isn’t a very definite philosophy because my work is continuously in evolution. There’s just a feeling that wants to come out, a very intimate relationship that I have with the land, a desire of expression.
– A place with its own traditions and its authenticity can affect the development of an artifact. How much has the place where you create the bicucles influenced your production?
Ferrara has probably influenced my work, not so much the traditional ceramics of Ferrara – that is the graffiti – but the ceramics’ tradition in general, whence everything starts. In Ferrara there are talented potters … we are few but there are very good ones that have a strong experience gained during a long and solid workmanship and this definitely influences. Furthermore, my laboratory – as a place that can influence the production – is very important to me because it is fundamental to feel comfortable, free to move, to express themselves. Are important the space, the oven, the equipment, because making ceramics is a demanding job…
– Being a craftsman in the twenty-first century: what have you recovered from the past? What have you innovated?
There has been an evolution in my work because I use the soil also as a tool for my personal growth and this approach has changed, as a result, my way of making pottery. I do not fit in that group of potters who remains in the tradition, no, it’s never been like that for me, I have always gone in search of new morphologies, new forms of expression, new techniques, chasing that stimulus, that emotion that I feel when I work, when I end up a piece. However, surely, my creations gather the knowledge acquired during the studying years in the arts, though a knowledge that I reworked and personalized.
– Uniqueness at all costs: are the unique and limited products synonymous of quality? If so, why?
I think so, each piece has its own story… so, absolutely yes. I think that it has no sense – as I set my work – doing equal pieces, maybe they can have a similar shape but each of them has its expressiveness, its history, its uniqueness.
– Is there a word, a concept, a metaphor that can represent your business and your work also to enclose the meaning?
I would say the movement, the evolution, the change.