Ir al contenido
Maria Balda in her Ibiza ceramics studio
PRINT_YvetteSpowers_DomusNova_SayanaCairo-1 (9)-landscape
Domus-Nova-Ibiza-Charlotte-Ceramics-Artisans (11)
Domus-Nova-Ibiza-Bonnies-Studios-Ceramacists (8)

We speak to five studios at the forefront of the island’s pottery revival about the inspiration behind their work.

Ibiza’s reputation for producing ceramics is more than 2,000 years in the making. It was the Phoenicians who first started creating amphorae vessels for carrying oil and wine here – and subsequently the Romans who exported the island’s pottery far and wide. A tradition passed down through the ages, Ibiza’s oldest craft has undergone something of a revival recently, with a roll call of contemporary ceramicists keeping the flame alive.

For this new generation of potters, working with clay is a way to connect not only with the island’s rich heritage, but with each other. “Historically speaking, the island has a strong culture of ceramics,” says Laura De Grinyo, founder of Ladio Ceramics. “What’s special about the craft is how it creates a community – particularly for women. While we each have our own businesses, we work together through difficulties and successes.”

"What’s special about the craft is how it creates a community – particularly for women. While we each have our own businesses, we work together through difficulties and successes"

Laura De Grinyo, Ladio Ceramics

Having earned both local and international acclaim – in her first year alone, Laura created a collection for luxury label Loewe – it’s hard to believe the Ibiza native only began experimenting with the artform a few years ago. Returning to the island to seek “artistic fulfilment”, she found her calling at the renowned Sa Teulera studio, studying alongside celebrated ceramicist Adrián Ribas and his family for a year before setting up a studio in her garden during the pandemic.

Guided by the patterns and tones in nature, Laura’s philosophical approach to her work is similarly organic. “In Latin cultures, ceramicists believe that pots are a vessel for souls,” she notes. “If a pot survives during the firing process in the kiln, it’s because a spirit has chosen to reside in the three-dimensional space. I feel this with my work too – there are protectors within.”

Ceramicist Yvette Spowers’ hand-sculpted creations are also grounded in traditional, time-honoured practices. “My work is coiled, burnished and smoke-fired, which is an ancient way of working,” she explains. Taking inspiration from the surrounding landscape, Yvette uses local plants in the smoking process for her vases, pots and sculptural maquettes, which are on display at KsaR Living. Her work bench is strewn with Sabina sawdust, pinecones, Posidonia seaweed and dried prickly pear cactus leaves, all of which yield different textures that feel at one with nature.

Growing up in Barbados, Yvette was drawn to the world of ceramics thanks to English porcelain manufacturer Wedgwood, who hosted a trade show in the West Indies each year. After a decade in Ibiza, she has seen firsthand the growing interest and appreciation of the craft. “Galleries are opening, arts events are held – not to mention that many more creatives are coming to the island,” she says. “It’s exciting to be part of this rising scene.”

Working predominately from her studio at an artists’ complex on the edge of Santa Gertrudis, from time to time she ventures to Sa Taulera, the workshop space run by the aforementioned ceramicist Adrián Ribas. “I pick up nuggets of history from his display of Phoenician pottery,” she adds.

PRINT_YvetteSpowers_DomusNova_SayanaCairo-1 (9)-landscape

Another Ribas alumnus, Maria Sejas Balda of Maria B. Ceramics, started ceramics classes and wheeling at Sa Taulera six years ago. “There was lots of practice, failure and joy in the process,” she recalls. Today, she pots in Las Salinas and her work can be found in homeware showrooms Casa Bedouin in San José and Particular in Jondal.

Piloted by the Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi that celebrates the beauty of everyday wear and tear, Maria gives importance to spontaneous forms and is not “afraid of imperfection”. Art, design and architectural references weave their way into her creations, which are more than just decorative. Maria has been commissioned to produce ceramics for a host of restaurants. Her first collaboration was with potter Julieta Pullol for La Granja farmhouse in the north of the island. Chef Óscar Molina has used three of her designs for his Michelin-starred restaurant La Gaia, while an Edomae-style tasting menu is served on her crockery at Walter Sidoravicius’ Omakase sushi bar.

Maria points to the island’s ever-growing artist community as a catalyst behind the ceramics revival.  “Crafts have always been present here, but the art scene has grown exponentially in recent years,” she notes. “It’s definitely a pin in the world’s art map.”

“Crafts have always been present in Ibiza, but the art scene has grown exponentially in recent years”

Maria Sejas Balda, Maria B. Ceramics

For Belgian ceramicist Charlotte de Lantsheere, founder of Charlotte Ceramics, the island’s arts and crafts scene fuelled a desire to create from an early age. “As a teenager, I adored the traditional ceramics studios in San Rafael, plus the work of master ceramicists Joan Planells “Daifa” and Toni Marí Frígoles,” she reminisces. “It’s wonderful to continue this tradition of crafting and pottery.”

Charlotte’s love for the island translates effortlessly into her work, which takes cues from the landscape. “Nature recharges my batteries,” she says. Fittingly, her ceramics feel lifted straight out of the sand, stone and sea – think irregular and undulating edges, speckled and textured surfaces and rich blue and green glazing. “I associate the island with freedom and serenity,” she muses. “I have a genuine passion for clay and a desire to create beautiful things for our world.”

“We feel inspired to live on an island where pottery has always had such prominence”

Ambar and Gonzalo, Bonnie’s Studio

Other workshops, like Bonnie’s Studio, want to pass on the craft to the next generation. Despite being relative newcomers themselves, the studio’s founders Ambar and Gonzalo are making waves from their atelier by the sea. “Our studio is such a special place,” says Gonzalo. “We’re reminded of how far we’ve come in the past three years. It’s got such wonderful energy to it, full of our students’ pieces and a big glass door that fills the space with light.”

The pair are entrepreneurs, ceramicists and teachers. As well as crafting their own pottery collections, they hold guided workshops throughout the year. “People can either attend our drop-in weekend workshops and enjoy a relaxing morning of crafting or come every week and work on a project over time,” says Ambar. “We’ve met so many wonderful and interesting people and feel inspired to live on an island where pottery has always had such prominence.”

Invigorated by the island’s collective spirit, Bonnie’s Studio has embarked on partnerships with likeminded businesses, including family-run restaurant La Paloma, who commissioned the duo to create a bespoke tableware collection. “With so many artists residing here, we have so much potential as a creative community,” says Gonzalo. “Ibiza is confidently making its place in the world as an island of creatives.”