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Roger Coll

“I like to think that we all have our artistic language, or at least we try to find it. In my case every single sculpture I make is part of my own language that I’m developing. Each sculpture is like a word that helps to define it.”

After studying Architecture, Sculpture and Ceramics and having spent several years working in an architecture studio in Barcelona, Roger Coll established his first ceramic studio and workshop in Barcelona in 2009. In 2014 he moved to Vic where he now lives and works. He strives to make people appreciate ceramic objects and sculptures and believes that working in ceramics is a captivating form of art with the potential to unleash creativity.

Roger’s work has been exhibited internationally in solo and group shows since 2010 including New York, Berlin, Milan, Stockholm and London. His sculpture was published in the book ‘New Wave Clay: Ceramic Design, Art and Architecture’ (2018) by Tom Morris, a 296-page survey of 60 international ceramicists, examining ‘a new breed of ceramicist: not traditional artisans, but designers who choose clay as their means of creative expression.’

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Artist Q&A

Artist Q&A

Q&A from June 2023 for exhibition 'Trace' at OmVed Gardens

Can you talk us through a usual day in your studio?

R: Every day is a little different, but it would be something like this. I usually set my alarm for 5:55, eat breakfast and/or have coffee, and head to the studio. It is only a 7 minute walk from home. If I don't have to take kids to school, I don't leave the studio until 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. with the exception of my coffee break.

I have changed my routine slightly in the last few months. I used to have a lot of pieces in different stages at the same time and go from one to another and do all kinds of tasks in one day, but now I try to work in groups, which means I can spend weeks just building new pieces. Then as the sculptures dry and I begin to bisque fire them, I can focus on sanding, which is the most demanding and time-consuming part of the process. When some of them are ready to glaze, I can prepare them for their second firing at a higher temperature and have them ready to be photographed.

This means the routine in the studio is never exactly the same and I can go from a fully occupied space when I'm building and everything is in the middle to an empty studio when all the works have been collected for shipping.


What first drew you to ceramic as a medium?

R: I think it is because I come from a family of farmers (both my grandfathers). I used to spend a lot of time during my childhood on a farm playing with earth, stones, branches, mixing everything with water, building tents etc. and I developed an early interest in materials and building things with them. It was not after some years when I had already started at university that I felt the need to go back to that feeling and decided to start going to ceramic classes on Saturday mornings.

What’s been the biggest pivotal moment in your practice so far?

R: I wouldn't be able to define just one important moment in my practice, it is rather a set or sum of decisions that you make based on getting where you want to go, and which coincide with a moment of change or rupture. I am not impulsive in making decisions, but I am guided by feelings. Sometimes it's positive and sometimes an unnecessary waste of time. One of those important moments could be the first time I participated in Ceramic Art London, because it forced me to focus exclusively on my sculptures and break with the type of piece I had made until then that did not fulfil me . But I had had the feeling that it was something I needed to do a long time ago and it was hard for me to try and apply to it. In the same way that it was difficult as important for me to leave my job years ago at the technical architecture studio and break with that whole world to go away for a while and start from scratch making my ceramics. Or right now, that I am interested in including and working with new materials in my practice and making a change of scale in some pieces.

What are the biggest influences for your work?

R: I have always been fascinated by sculpture, as a child I remember buying all the books I could find by Richard Deacon. The use of materials, understanding how each one behaves differently, the shape, the scale, the finishes. A whole series of abstract concepts that convey a specific type of emotion that has me trapped. My collection of objects that I collected on site visits when I worked in the studio, things apparently not directly related to the practice of sculpture such as the world of cooking or gardening. Understanding how things grow, how the raw material is treated to transform it into a dish, seems fascinating to me and I try to learn about it all the time.


How do you decide when a form works? What are you looking for in a final piece?

R: I never start a piece knowing how it will look like. I like making decisions as the form grows. If everything was planned from the beginning it would be too boring or I could hand the job to somebody else and this is not the way I work. It is difficult to explain when a piece is finished, I just know it. I hate describing it like this but it´s true that in a way it has to transmit something to me. Sometimes is the form, or the scale, the empty spaces in it, the gesture…


What does it mean to you when seeing your work in different contexts outside of the studio? Especially now they are being exhibited and collected more and more internationally.

R: the feeling is a bit like that of being a parent and seeing how your children relate to an environment in which you no longer have any type of control over them, and you see them more mature, with their own personality and you feel an inexplicable kind of pride. It is an inevitable part of life, you take care of them and help them grow, but you know that sooner or later they will leave.

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