When and how did you discover your passion for pottery?
Vanessa: I experienced clay in craft classes during my graphic design training and somehow it stayed with me. Later, Ari went to a clay course with me for my birthday and for quite a while we joined classes and drop-ins at open studios.
Ari: The material clay has actually always influenced my artistic work. During art studies, I dealt a lot with sculpture, especially with the relationship between sculpture and color. I rediscovered working with clay in the open classes and I must say that throwing at the wheel is addictive.
How is it like to make pottery in a duo? How do you divide tasks? Do you both have the same areas of responsibility?
Ari: Being a team is especially nice to exchange ideas, learn from each other and inspire each other. I am also glad that Vanessa is much more determined than me. Otherwise we would never have gotten this far with clay.
Vanessa: We divide the tasks as it fits. I take care of things like Etsy or Instagram, and everything graphic, simply because graphic design is my learned profession. The production and everything related to it – material orders, glaze mixing, order processing – we do together.
We adore the ceramic bowls you did for BASIUM! How did you choose the clay? Where does the clay come from?
Vanessa: Frankly speaking, you were the ones who brought us to the clay, because you had the „bigger picture“ in your mind from the beginning. So instead of our usual clay masses we have tried this red clay, which we could burn high enough to be able to use our glazes on it. It is a highly plastic stoneware mass from the Westerwald, that is highly fired and thus really dense, hygienic and acid-resistant. We also love the result – the bowls blend so well in the BASIUM universe.
Lots of mass-produced ceramic products are often glazed with lead paint. Can you explain a bit why this is problematic?
Ari: Colored glazes can contain heavy metals such as cadmium or lead, which could lead to poisoning under certain circumstances. This is the reason why there have been high legal requirements in the EU for many years. It is therefore relatively unlikely, but you are of course right … the question applies especially to mass produced goods with unknown background whose ingredients are unclear. One more reason for local crafts.
Do you have a certain beauty routine that you would like to share?
Ari: I believe skin care is as important as the care of our general constitution. The best care is good nutrition, lots of sleep and as little stress as possible.
Vanessa: I don’t have a fancy beauty routine. I use a single soap bar for the face and body and some moisturizer. At night after cleansing I don’t apply anything because I have the feeling that the skin should breathe and needs a break to relax and recover… On weekends I'm up for peelings and most recently the Terra Mask, which I really love.
Does nature play a role in your self-care routine?
Ari: I like to use natural fragrances and oils. Your Flora oil smells divine – I love jasmine, it relaxes me immediately. I make a peeling simply from coffee grounds and high-quality olive oil. This is incredibly activating, but also a good reason to clean the bathtub. I also like the reuse aspect here.
Vanessa: For me skin care should be easy and and few high-quality organic products are key. Drinking lots of water probably too, but that’s a challenge I've given up.
Do you have a grounding practice?
Ari: That would be nice, people always tell me to calm down. Even during my most authentic and cherished yoga class in India I went through the current to-do list in my head.
Vanessa: Yes, would love to master proper meditation, but I seem to be free of talent – it makes me rather impatient and I get distracted on the spot. Running works better for me.
What are your goals for Good Clay Sunshine?
Vanessa: At the moment many processes are taking place in different places. We partly throw clay at home due to the lockdown at the beginning of the year and also to be able to throw after an office day. We glaze and fire everything in the basement of our co-working space where you can also view and purchase our work pieces. To have everything in one place again one day would be great.