I believe that travelling is one of the best ways to find and unleash your creative ideas. Seeing different cultures, landscapes, and cities can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. And this type of experience can become a strong force in generating new ideas for living and creating. Experiencing life in various parts of the world can be challenging, but nevertheless, it is rewarding. To travel is to immerse oneself into a never ending source of inspiration.
Today I have this interesting and honest story from Raphaël Schaltegger, an artist who started making his porcelain jewellery and sculptures while travelling the world. After long adventures, learning new things and experimenting, he is now living in Paris, where he has a studio-shop called Goutte de Terre, translates as ‘a drop of earth’. Here the artist creates his wonderful nature inspired ceramic pieces. Raphaël uses porcelain for his jewellery, which is often kept plain single colour, with tiny golden details. Beautiful!
And now enjoy the story…
What do we need to know about you?
I was born in the east of France in the region of Champagne. Growing up in nature made me want to travel from an early age, so I did, for 12 years. During my travels, in order to pay for food and board, I played music and made jewellery with seashells, grains and other stones in macramé. After all these years I felt like “settle in”. I found my home in Paris and of course it was natural to work for myself. Today I continue making a living from what I do with my hands, in my workshop – art gallery.
What are your daily inspirations? What motivates you?
My inspiration comes from water: fluidity, smoothness, clarity, gloss, colour … its rivers, lakes, the sea even the water I drink. In everyday life, music rhythms my creations, the timeliness, architecture, nature when I find it on weekends or during holidays , people… my family … I see the inspiration in everything I could say , but also love pushes me every day to create , I call this «the blues of creation».
Describe your creative process. What is your favourite part?
I create modern and minimalist porcelain jewellery and sculptures, one-of-a-kind pieces with metallic accents of some kind such as gold, bronze and silver. I make each piece individually with great love.
I start with a ball of clay, of porcelain and let it take life on my fingers. Once it has dried, I sand away the imperfections. It’s time for the first oven. The second oven takes turn when all the little pieces have been glazed. After that, with a fine brush I paint each jewel with liquid gold that will fix on the third and last oven.
How does your work space look like? What do you like about it? What would you change?
My workshop is in my shop-gallery and I would definitely change its size! It is very Small, around 2 square meters, but it’s not such a bad thing since it forces me to stay organized!!! Everything has its place. I love my little place full of little treasures waiting to be discovered…I have art work from fellow artists, souvenirs from my travels and of course pictures of my family.
Describe your typical day.
First things first: Playing music! Right after the internet starts up, I browse my emails, answer some of them, then it is either a photo-shoot (if it is a beautiful sunny day, you know in Paris that’s not the case every day) or social media. Of course I spend part of my day in my workshop. I have to wait between processes to finish one piece, since it has to dry to go on to the next step, until I have enough pieces to fill out and oven. Since I have a brick and mortar shop I also take care of my customers. I advise them as to what piece to choose. I really like talking to people, making them feel comfortable, making them feel special and I also love to make them laugh.
Your tips for fresh artists, designers and maker
I would put it down as questions:
Do you really love what you do? Do you really believe in your product? Do you believe in yourself? Are you ready to fail? Are you ready to learn from your failures? Are you ready to start all over again?
All the images used in this post belong to the artist.