"As a ceramic artist, I am highly conscious of my spatial environment in relation to my material, and often immerse myself in its meditative qualities. This in turn is conveyed in the work and creates a highly visual and tactile surface informed by my love for nature and fine detail. I intend to provoke multiple sensory modalities, and thus spark a curiosity in the viewer. My work demonstrates how visual stimuli can be achieved by grouping single elements to form a larger gestalt whole, as reflected throughout nature."
Josefina Isaza is a Colombian-born ceramic artist based in London. She gained her BFA in Crafts from the University Of The Arts, Philadelphia, where she continued for a year as an artist-in-residence. During this time, she worked on completing a large-scale commission for a permanent installation that made its way home to her native country, Colombia. This was also part of a solo exhibition, Horizon.
Josefina then travelled to Tokoname, Japan for a further residency at Kyouei-Gamma!, where she had the good fortune to be taught by many ceramic masters, allowing her to embody the freedom, and spontaneity she observed in their practice.
Josefina became a selected member of the Craft Potters Association in 2021 and was selected to be a part of the new members exhibition held in 2022 where she showed six of her sculptures.
Over the years, she has developed her own style largely influenced by Japanese contemporary aesthetics, concepts of imperfect beauty, and close observation of nature.
'Hand-built spotted vase', hand-built porcelain, unglazed, h. 22 x dia. 6 cm
What first drew you to porcelain and creating patterns in your work?
J: I became interested in working with porcelain when I was at university, as I found the clay not only challenging but also beautiful in its raw state. It feels much nicer to handle to me than a high grog clay body and I love the fact that it was once considered to be more valuable than gold.
I love to work with small detail and make the process very involved. I believe that glazing and or decorating should take as long as or longer than the making process and I love to experiment with and learn about all the decorating techniques that I can get my hands on. I have many different decorating processes that I use for different bodies of work but it all comes down to the detail and involvement that draws me in in as it becomes meditative.
How do you decide when a form works? What are you looking for in a final piece?
J: Working intuitively helps me to change the form as I am working on it. I am constantly making decisions on making a piece that is harmonious within the asymmetrical world. I embrace imperfections in my work as this is an element that shows that it is not an industrially made piece.
How important is tactility to your work?
J: This is possibly one of the most important elements of my work. I want my pieces to be tactile both visually and to the touch as ceramics is a medium that is always being engaged with by the viewer.