Terre d'Agathe, or how to become a ceramist
FR - Agathe has been passionate about ceramics for a long time.
And, one day, she decided to make a rather drastic professional move and became a ceramist.
From 2004, training courses followed one another: ceramic, Raku workshop, terra sigilatta , formation on the know-how of African and Asian potters, creativity around the seed and the fruit...
The result was the launch of her own ceramics workshop, Terre d'Agathe, a perfect combination of the material needed for ceramics and the artist's first name, just a stone's throw from the translucent chalcedony agate, the mineral stone of which Aristotle was said to be a fervent fan.
" Emotions, history and nature are at the centre of my work " says Agathe. " My choice to use white grog stoneware to create my unique pieces allows me to focus on the importance of the model, on the decoration, with the unexpected traces left by the smoke and the use of oxides ".
Agathe's creations are sober. But, far from being darkl, they reveal the material in the purity of invention. Little by little, the drawing reveals itself "in its unique, inspired, somewhat wild ethnic universe".
Could you tell us what decide you to become a ceramist ? It is a totally different activity from your professional past, in the medical field.
Indeed, after having been a nurse for 20 years, I felt the need to devote myself to a more personal project.
I have done a lot of training and taken an interest in several subjects, looking for my way. For example, between 2020 and 2021, I trained as a reflexologist in Chinese energy, another way of working with the elements, plants, stones, another approach.
I have been working on completing my creative techniques, in particular wax patinas, kintsugi ("golden joint" in Japanese, a method of repairing ceramics or porcelain, which appeared at the end of the 15th century) and, of course, I am still learning on a daily basis.
Do you have a favourite material or colour?
I love so many, it's hard to choose ! I like blue, yellow, orange, green, black or white...
As far as materials are concerned, I tend towards a mixture of many. I combine materials, such as wood, with others. This mixing captivates me.
I have also recently started designing a range of utilities, which corresponds to a current desire, and is perhaps also aimed at another clientele.
In general, how long does it take you to create one ceramic ?
This is very difficult to answer, as each piece is somewhat exclusive.
" I chose cold firing for the simplicity and spontaneity of the technique, as well as the results - subtle variations, unexpected traces due to the smoke, and the absence of glaze.
I am exploring a cold-firing technique, different from raku. I place my pieces - polished with agates at different stages of drying - already fired and cooled, unglazed, in a can at the bottom of my garden. Inside, I create a tangle of pieces and different combustible materials - these various factors have a significant influence, as the temperature in the can during the firing, the wind "...
Do you run workshops about ceramics?
Unfortunately not, but my friends and partners, the potters Anna and Faustine, with whom I share La Canopée shop in Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie, organise them and take great pleasure in it.
They are going give workshops during the February holidays. But do visit them on Instagram : Anna, @tribuceramique and Faustine, @faust_ceramique.
The 3 of us are taking over the shop and we are about to finish the renovation, another way to create ! Come and meet us when we reopen at the beginning of the February holidays. The address is La Canopée Atelier, 26 Grand Rue, Saint Quentin-la-Poterie, (@lacanopeeatelier).
Many thanks to Agathe, for her collaboration with this article
Want to learn more ? Visit the website of Agathe Terre d'Agathe and her Instagram page @agathe_ceramique