Barcelona designer Valeria Vasi creates unique pieces mainly in terracotta and anthracite. What’s distinctive about her work is the striking shapes its vases take: a torus shape, U-shape, and a sphere with a long neck.
Influenced by both design and art, and in particular the art history movement Suprematism, Valeria Vasi has drawn upon this movement, applying it to the shapes, materials and colors used in her range of ceramics. Here’s the 8 questions…
My pieces are a combination of art, design and functionality, in which geometry and simplicity are key.
1. Tell something about you and your work.
I grew up between Moscow and Barcelona and after finishing my studies I decided to move to Paris, where I started my experience within the fashion field. After having worked for more than 10 years in the industry, I wanted to discover another field and I started experimenting with ceramics, I liked it so much that I decided to launch the brand back in Barcelona.
2. Your style is made of classical art, minimalism and metaphysics. So what are your reference models? Are you influenced by other areas too, like fashion?
My pieces are a combination of art, design and functionality, in which geometry and simplicity are key. I believe that my background is palpable, as I grew up with an artist mom and the fashion industry have left their mark.
3. The Japanese art of ikebana inspired you a lot. At the same time you had such a long experience in fashion, especially in the world of Parisian fashion shows. How do you combine those two different cultures in your work, in your works and in your life in general?
As I grew up in different cities, I feel lucky to have lived in diverse cultures. This has allowed me to have a wider visual references. Traveling remains an important part of my life, it makes me more permeable and open to artistic expressions weather is design, floral art or any other artistic expressions.
4. You grew up and lived in European metropolises such as Moscow, Barcelona and Paris, but we are curious about your name: Valeria Vasi sounds so Italian and is it your real name?
My name is Valeria Vasilieva, a Russian surname. I just wanted to make something shorter, that’s how it became “Vasi”.
5. What piece of advice would you give to a person who wants to arrive exactly where you are now?
Chose to do what you really like and what really fulfills you and the rest will come along. When I first started this project, I started it as a hobby, I was experimenting with clay and I liked it so much that I decided to start it as a personal project. I didn’t have any means to count on but determination, daring and hard work made it happen.
6. You said that being a designer allowed you to develop two things that you really like: “to be able to design objects and to develop the creative direction”. Do you think that ceramics is the best material to use in your creations or are you open to experimentation?
Ceramic was the starting point of this project, however what I really like is the manual process.
One of my aims is to further develop the local artisans and their know-how as with the mass-productions we are losing it. I’m currently experimenting as well with other natural materials and without abandoning the artisanal aspect.
7. In your works it is possible to recognize a relationship not only with design, but also with nature and the four elements. What about your house? Are there any distinctive pieces like design elements, plants and animals that characterize your space?
My husband and I share the passion for beautiful objects, every time we travel we bring some curious objects from all the countries we visit. I’m also very lucky because he is an interior designer and our biggest project is yet to come, our new home-studio where we will be moving in very soon!
8. Finally, what creativity means to you?
Creativity is imagination, interpretation and a transcendence of patterns into new ideas. It’s the ability to view things in new ways or forms, no matter what you do.
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