Today we’re sitting down with Barcelona-based artist and maker, Ceren. She is the creative mind behind REN Cerámica, selling handmade artisanal ceramic tableware in Barcelona.
Ceren creates at a studio in the Poblenou district and sells her work at local shops as well as design markets. We asked her about her experience and inspiration as a maker living in Barcelona.
Can you tell us a bit about who you are and where you’re from?
I'm originally from Turkey and I used to be a professional photographer working in the advertising industry. However, I was always interested in different kinds of art.
How did you first start working with clay?
My friend had a ceramics studio and I started playing with clay a decade ago. That lasted a year. Afterwards, I moved to Stockholm and then Barcelona. Finally, I founded my own business called Ren Cerámica.
How did you come up with the concept of ‘coz your life is not smooth’?
Our lives are not smooth. We all have wounds and ups and downs. I reflect this in my products. They are not perfectly aligned, flat, shiny products. They have their own bumps and scratches.
Where do you get new inspiration for product design?
The very moment that I am shaping the clay is defining what it will be. Everything is based on that very short amount of time. How I feel, any distinctive noise in the studio, my hunger or thirst, my daily sensitivity or indifference, etc. I shape the clay with my own life. At the same time, I have always been more attracted to the simple side of Scandinavian and Japanese designs.
Do you think buyers today are more interested in natural, handmade design instead of industrialized products? Why do you think that is?
I definitely think that people value handmade products. Because they are unique. They generally have to pay more for an artisanal bowl, as the piece is the result of hours of work, not a mass-produced product. People tend to understand and value this. It makes me happy. Maybe they are aware that a factory machine can not reflect feelings to the products it produces 🙂
You recently did a show at OFFF Barcelona. Can you tell us about that experience?
I really enjoyed every minute of OFFF Barcelona. I met many wonderful people. I enjoyed sharing my designs with people from around the world. It was an interesting experience to show physical handmade pottery in a leading digital arts festival.
Is Barcelona a good city for artists to live and work in? Why?
Yep. An abundance of art studios to work from, diversity and easy access to the materials, and the openness of the local community to artists from abroad. Not to mention the inspiration that is coming from the flourishing life on the streets. It is a vibrant city!
What do you think the role(s) of artists are in our society?
Hahaha, I had faced this question many times during my university exams in fine arts. I can't find a single answer that satisfies me. Artists in general are here to make this harsh life more beautiful. Maybe. A lighter life. Art makes you feel better for a moment or many moments.
Lastly, can you give us any insights into your upcoming projects?
I want to work on products that bring people together. This idea is first manifesting as unique coffee-tea sets. So the ladies can gossip with more creative truths, businessmen can have stronger meetings and kids can more easily hit the cup making the coffee spill better on the white carpet....making life, life 🙂
Sounds great, we can't wait to see your new sets. Thanks for chatting with us today Ceren!
Thanks a lot for giving me the chance to share my story on FrikiFish.
You can find Ceren’s work on her website and Instagram: