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Joelle Swanet

Artist's Work

On the Edge of Illusion

    Work introduction

    A deep attraction to Korea and Japan have left traces in my work, especially the spirit of Asian ceramics impregnated with sacred intention and wabisabi philosophy. Achieving a strong expression with few materials is my challenge: my pieces are unglazed, mixing locally collected materials with conventional clay, throwned slowly on a potter's wheel. The musical background is essential when I’m shaping the pieces, as I let my hands be guided by the rhythm and the improvisation phrases. The final step is mainly a single firing, in the same spirit of simplicity and minimalism.


    Concept: if not for the "thought experiments" of an Einstein or a De Broglie, our world would not be the same and I agree with the idea that our representations of the world create reality. The way one sculpture is showed, the lighting, as well as the position completely modify perception and new images arise: it is a metaphor for the human capacity to modify the prism through which we see our environment.

    Artist Biography

    I have been teaching pottery for more than 20 years and I have been a professor of ceramic technology at La Cambre (Brussels) since 2008. Meeting with ceramics in 1993 changed my life path, as I got a university degree in economics at the first place. I attended ceramic classes for 10 years in two Academies of Fine Arts in Belgium, and I followed in parallel many specialized trainings in throwing, surface decoration, technology and geology, as well as numerous wood-firings in Asia and Europe.

    Since 2002 I have taken part to collective exhibitions in Belgium, China, Japan, Germany, France, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Tunisia.

    I developed the "Slow Throwing" approach, which emphasizes ergonomics and is inspired by primitive non-motorized wheels : it aims to improve well-being and nourishes creativity.

    Since 2011 I’ve lived between Belgium and Provence and I teach in these two places.