The Five ✶ SPARKS ✶ Interview: Clay Artist Brigitte Bouquet behind ‘Atelier BB’

This week we go -technicolor- to New York!

Some of you may already know this week’s guest, if not personally, then through Etsy with her unique, vibrant and textured Wobbly Plates-Wobbly Bowls!

I fell in love with her pieces way before I had the privilege to get to know the energetic, passionate, creative and inspiring artist Brigitte Bouquet. Make yourself a cup of your favorite tea and join me in discovering Brigitte’s Art World beyond her colorful and joyful Etsy store…

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jb ✶What inspired you to become an Artist?

bb ✶I really can’t tell. My mum is a seamstress and the whole house was filled with fabrics- buttons  and wool.  Beautiful materials in every color of the rainbow.
When I was little, I used to play for hours with pencils, markers, paper and my moms fabrics and I remember arranging them in all kinds of crazy color combination. Maybe that’s when it all started.  And later on, the love for colors and surface designs, got me to ceramics.

I started to paint on bisque and worked closely together with traditional Delft Blue potters, painting with my own glazes and their traditional shapes.
I learned a lot doing that but quickly realized that I wanted to shape the ceramic pieces myself.

So, I guess, I just fell in love with the material: clay.

Clay is just an amazing material, it’s so diverse. I started creating my own designs. The perfect ceramic canvases for my glazes.
Because in the end, for me, nothing is more beautiful than the bright and vivid colors of glazes.

Tulip Fields

Wobbly Bowls- Wobbly Plates

jb ✶ Can you take us through your creative process?

bb ✶I am fascinated by patterns in nature, on a leaf, in sand, on a stonewall. The textures of a tree, the ripples of water; most of my work starts in nature.
I always carry a small camera and a sketch book with me and from that point on I let my imagination go. Blow something up or give it a weird twist. More often than not things change and evolve during the process.

All my work is connected in an unexpected and organic way. Like the surface patterns of the Wobbly Plates; http://www.wobblyplates.com or http://www.atelierbb.etsy.com, I started to experiment with those textures in a sculpture I made a couple of years ago.

I love to work on lots of different projects at the same time. That’s also related to the fact that most of my sculptures, like the Circle Series, (http://web.me.com/bbceramics) take over 3 months from start to completion.  I am showing some of my larger sculptures, like the Circle Series and the Driftwood Trees in April in a group exhibition in Brooklyn at the Clover Gallery.

Snowy Tree

“My little sketch book”

Work In Progress: Brigitte working on ‘Grassy Patch’

jb ✶How do you promote your work?

bb: Well, I am getting better at this. It’s hard though. Just something I don’t naturally do. I want my pieces, my Wobblies and sculptures to speak for themselves. But I know it’s crucial to use all the tools available these days to get the word out.

I carry business cards with me, I post lots of images on flickr;  http://www.flickr.com/photos/wobblyplates/collections and I keep people updated through my fan-page:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wobbly-Plates/107842556560 and do a Wobbly Fan of the month pick. The lucky fan receives a Wobbly surprise.

Biscuits Bowls – Wobbly Plates

Coral Suburbs

jb ✶The best advice ever given to you that you would pass on?

bb: Do your own thing. Just do what makes you feel good. That’s it.

Focaccia Platter -lime- Wobbly Plates

Brigitte with ‘Turtle Lines’

jb ✶You have money and 5 minutes… What you would buy and why?

bb: I would call my local electricity company and have them hook up a big kiln I have had for a while. All it needs is a dedicated power line and lots of amps.
It would give me a lot more flexibility and most of all: a way to fire large pieces.

Detail of orange ‘Buttoned Up Vase’

In her Brooklyn studio, Brigitte working on ‘Black Moon Rising’

If you are fortunate enough to be in New-York, hit the Town on Saturday, April 17th  from 4 pm – 6 pm and or Sunday, May 17th at Clover’s Fine Art Gallery to Brigitte’s “must see” opening ‘Earth Lens’ -group exhibition- ! You can then brag that you were fortunate enough to have seen her work in “real life” and the sheer scale of some of her pieces while the rest of us interstate or around the globe can only dream of it!

Art Gallery: Clover’s Fine Art, 338 Atlantic Ave, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn… NY

To find out more about BB’s up coming exhibition, you can simply convo Brigitte at: http://www.atelierbb.etsy.com

…, and if like me and you can not make it for the ‘real thing’, you can still satisfy your senses at:

http://www.atelierbb.etsy.com