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Clay Club, Of Friendship & Ceramics - hlow

On your website, your bio doesn’t say much about you (Clay Club is the ceramics studio of Joke Leonare & Sigrid Volders, founded in 2016. With a focus on one of a kind, handmade and sustainable ceramic pieces), nore does your picture show much either. Do you wish to keep things rather private ? Could you tell us a bit about your story ?

Here is a more detailed bio by Barbara Serulus :

Clay Club is the ceramics studio of artists Joke Leonare and Sigrid Volders. Joke is a graphic designer and runs the record label Jj funhouseSigrid is a make-up artist and part of creative collectives Earth Rope Pot Plant and Nine Islands.

Since 2016, they’ve been working together with clay and glazes in their shared workshop. They both focus on unique pieces, embrace imperfection and favour small series over large quantities. Their forms are organic, their colour palette quirky.

During her training, Sigrid developed a fascination for glazes and their chemistry, which lead her to create an ever growing archive of colour glazes. Joke is self-taught and creates idiosyncratic pieces that fit nicely with the work of Sigrid.

 

You work in Antwerp, is this where you come from? Why do you appreciate this city ? What kind of synergy can you find there ?

Sigrid: Yes. It is such an inspiring environment here. Many artists are living or working here, partly because you can still find big ateliers to rent at a rather decent price, although this is changing. Our atelier for example is in an old furniture store, a little outside of the center, enclosed by a huge garden, we share the building with other designers (textile, interior and jewelry) and besides having cosy lunches together we inspire each other : )

Joke: Yes, raised in Antwerp and sticked around. It sometimes feels like living in a village, there’s a close community of creatives on all sorts of practices, supporting each other. Belgium also has a really good music scene going on, I take that for granted but it’s actually rather special.

Your pieces are incredibly beautiful. What are your visual reference ?

Sigrid: Thank you! Working with clay, it is such a nice material, it feels very natural, intuitive. Most of the time I have no idea what the end result will be – to create in complete poetic freedom gives me so much joy!

Joke: It’s very nice to get away from the screen and ‘play’ with the clay. I know it’s a cheesy thing to say, but it really does make you peaceful, and the product is usually a result from that, without having clear visual references at first.

How can clay club be so coherent, so consistent, even though there are two of you ? What is your creative process ?

Sigrid: I have more free time than Joke and can therefore spend more time in the atelier. Naturally that leads into making more things. And I photograph both of our works. Probably that’s why it’s coherent? Anyway we have a similar taste, sometimes we arrive in the atelier dressed in the same sweater 🙂 Joke’s creations fit perfectly in that atmosphere and as a graphic designer she makes sure our logo, cards and online store is on point!

Joke: I also like to see the studio as a way of meeting each other. Instead of going for coffee, we go for a cup of clay. We chitchat while we produce, each in our own way, but whenever we put some of our pieces together, it fits. We have a same love for certain colours, grains and shapes.

You work in Antwerp, is this where you come from? Why do you appreciate this city ? What kind of synergy can you find there ?

Sigrid: Yes. It is such an inspiring environment here. Many artists are living or working here, partly because you can still find big ateliers to rent at a rather decent price, although this is changing. Our atelier for example is in an old furniture store, a little outside of the center, enclosed by a huge garden, we share the building with other designers (textile, interior and jewelry) and besides having cosy lunches together we inspire each other : )

Joke: Yes, raised in Antwerp and sticked around. It sometimes feels like living in a village, there’s a close community of creatives on all sorts of practices, supporting each other. Belgium also has a really good music scene going on, I take that for granted but it’s actually rather special.

Your pieces are incredibly beautiful. What are your visual reference ?

Sigrid: Thank you! Working with clay, it is such a nice material, it feels very natural, intuitive. Most of the time I have no idea what the end result will be – to create in complete poetic freedom gives me so much joy!

Joke: It’s very nice to get away from the screen and ‘play’ with the clay. I know it’s a cheesy thing to say, but it really does make you peaceful, and the product is usually a result from that, without having clear visual references at first.

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