Balbina is a ceramic artist based in a small village in the center of Mallorca, she found her real passion for ceramics after rediscovering her mothers old pottery wheel.
Gaining inspiration from Mediterranean culture and working with simple shapes and a minimal color palette, she aims to preserve the essence of the material. In recent years she has been developing on how to incorporate sewing palm tree leaves within her ceramic work. It is important for Balbina to connect to the land and working with clay allows her to return to the earth and in doing so, something primitive emerges during her creative process.
This vase is firstly hand thrown in Stoneware clay, fired in the kiln at 1250ºC then enamelled inside.
The final process is weaving the collar by hand following the traditional Balearic traditional craft of “Llata”, using garballó, a rare type of palm that can only be found in the Balearic Islands.
This piece is a homage to "Ses Madones de sa Llata" who are a group of artisanal women from from Capdepera in the Balaerics. They learnt the technique of this craftwork as children and picked it up again after retirement to keep this ancient craft alive.
Maker's process photograph by Íñigo Vega
How did you get into creating?
I have always enjoyed painting and when I was 12 years old I decided I wanted to study fine arts. When I was in University I specialised in video and photography. After that I worked on my own as a graphic and web designer, also I used to manage my own furniture online store where I used to sell a curated selection of design goods.
Around 5 years ago, I felt tired of working in front of a computer and was at that time that I found my mum’s old pottery wheel.
While I was making my first pot with the clay on my hands I feel that I just found my real passion.
What are your inspirations/ interests?
I’m inspired by Mediterranean culture. I work with simple shapes and just a few colours sand, white, blue… I like to preserve the essence of the materials. Also, I love traveling and I’m a big fan of Nordic and Japanese cultures.
Why do you use the processes and materials you use?
I use clay because for me it is like returning to my deepest interior, something very primitive emerges while I’m modelling or on the wheel. Clay is one of the first materials used by the first humans in this world. And for me it is very important this connection with land. I enjoy working too to work and learn every day about the other elements essential to make ceramic: water, air and fire.
For last, in the pieces I introduce the palm leaves, I work in a different way, but always directly with my hands, which is the most satisfactory for me.