MEET SOPHIE CERAMICA W/ SOPHIA
Sophie Ceramica started as a passion project for Sofia de Moser Leitão. Run from a small studio in Paris, Sofia is inspired by positivity which she transmits to others through her vibrant and fun designs. We chatted to Sofia about the role of positivity in her work, why she's keeping things small scale, and how she integrates sustainability in her process.
"Clay it’s something that’s part of our planet, so my main material grows on Earth, which is great!"
What 2 words best describe Sophie Ceramica?
Fun and colorful.
When did you start Sophie Ceramica, and what inspired you to?
I don’t see my project as a business or a brand. This is all part of myself. It’s me expressing myself, exploring the clay and playing with shapes and colors.
Tell us about the team behind the brand.
I am the only person working on my pieces! There is no team behind haha.
Everything is handmade and that’s why it takes a long time to finish my pieces… But it’s fine because I don’t want to work on a big scale. I would love to be able to live just from ceramics, but still keep my work on a small scale...
What’s playing on the office / studio stereo?
Hmm a lot of music from the 60’s and 70’s, and a lot of bossa nova. The music is always very loud!
We define good design as ‘making positive impact on people and the planet a key input in the design stage’. How do you approach this at Sophie Ceramica?
I think my work is quite playful and joyful so I think the effect it has on people should be positive... There is a naive and non-pretentious thing in my work too, regarding the colors and organic shapes. I believe people have a more positive reaction than a negative reaction when they see my pieces.
Regarding the planet, clay it’s something that’s part of our planet, so my main material grows on Earth, which is great! Haha I buy my clay in Paris but it comes originally from Spain. Every country has it's own clay, with different particularities, but I really like to work with this clay that comes from Spain. But every time I order, I make sure to order a large quantity to avoid having to order all the time.
If there is more people working with clay, people will maybe stop buying ceramics made in “factories” and start buying directly from artists and artisans. That would be amazing!
And we can always recycle the clay (before cooking), which is even greater! So if there's a piece we are not really happy with. We break her in small pieces and then we recycle with water. Same with engobes and glazes. We never throw anything away, we always end up mixing colors and exploring new glazes.
Everyone at the studio is very conscious about ecological subjects and we always make sure to work in natural light when we have the sun, and we use the least water possible too. We have a gas kiln to cook the pieces but we always make sure the kiln is really 100% full of pieces so we spend the least energy possible cooking the pieces.
Sustainability is a journey; there are always things that can be improved, and we think it’s important to have these conversations openly. What areas are you working on improving?
When I send a piece to another city, I always reuse a cardboard box for the packaging so I don’t have to buy another one. But to protect the piece inside I need to cover it with a lot of bubble paper and newsprint paper. Of course I always reuse the paper but it would be great to not have to use so much plastic...
Where is Sophie Ceramica going in the future?
I have no idea. I like to live day by day. If there is something I’ve learned this past year, it was that. Better to not make too many long term plans…
I am still a beginner. I have still so much to learn!
What advice would you give to people who want to be more responsible when they’re shopping?
Take your time to make sure you REALLY need that. I’m still working on this too, and I admit sometimes it’s not that easy. But it really makes a difference to act this way. For our planet, and for our pockets too.
You can find out more about Sophie Ceramica and shop their collection here.