As part of our ongoing Desgin Crush series, we interviewed Cova Del Campo, founder of up and coming ceramic design studio, La Cueva. Based in Spain, Cova’s pieces caught our eye on instagram (as these things so often do) and we just had to know more about them as they are so fresh and clean. Flowers are a passion and these pieces elevate them to the next level, allowing an element of play in the way their strikingly simple shapes interact. Endlessly beautiful. Read on to find out more about the inspiration behind them and the process of going it alone to make your mark in the design world.
How did you start out?
I started with the studio because of my desire to have a project of my own. And specifically a studio based on manual work, in which I could be part, as I do, of the whole process. I learned about ceramics when I received some classes in Barcelona in my spare time and quickly fell in love with the material. So, in a rather impulsive way, I decided to open the workshop and start creating the ideas I had in my head for a long time, always joining my love for design.
What inspires you?
everything around me inspires me; what crosses me every day, the smallest details but especially, the architecture and the forms. The two collections I have are based on these two aspects and increasingly I try to focus the studio on the most neat forms. I think the place where I am most inspired is in the workshop itself, when suddenly you see that the work flows and a new idea comes up of something completely different
Do you work from your own studio space?
I work from my own studio. I also have a very natural environment, many times it is appreciated to go out and take some fresh air and even take the tables out and feel that there are no spatial limits.
What is the job of art/design in the current world we live in?
I think that the intention of art / design in today’s world has to favor and create unique and special environments, make life easier among other things; every time we try to differentiate ourselves more and more and the design can be a good way to help in this aspect. It is no longer just about functionality, but personality, character. I do not believe that there is only one objective behind the design, but that each one can end up giving his own.
How does your process work?
I am part of the complete process of production of the pieces. I sometimes start with sketches or other times just from the production process in the workshop itself. I like to be part of the complete cycle, from the creation of the piece that will be used to make the mold, the mold, the reproductions, the painting and even the communication and logistics of the studio. So far I have worked in this way, I have learned a lot about the process, although now I will start delegating some of the functions.
How do you connect with colour/materials?
The first collection was very based on the use of a small palette of colours. From now on, the pieces will take on a much more minimalist and neat appearance. The good thing about clay is that it forces you to have a direct contact with it; the pieces have your personal imprint and is one of the things that I am most passionate about the material. Manual modelling and learning about their behaviour in these years have made me understand what ceramic varies depending on working in one space or another. In my case, I have the workshop in a humid city and I have learned to give it time and adapt the material to it.
What do you do to relax?
I focus a lot on the sport for a few years, I discovered that beyond helping to maintain my physical condition, it helps me a lot mentally to avoid work and to maintain my spirits. Escape to the sea, always the sea helps to clarify ideas and above all, travel. Traveling is my greatest source of inspiration.
What’s your favourite song?
It is difficult to answer with just one song but among others it would be True Faith ( New Order )
Three words that describe you?
impulsive, curious and clueless.
Work, life, play – how do you balance them?
I’m lucky to work on something that until recently had been my biggest hobby. In addition, it is a job that allows me to travel and meet very interesting people. So the same cycle makes me have a balance, so far so good
Futurism or classicism?
Art or design?
Home or away?
Home and away 🙂
What advice do you have to any new designer?
That they are not afraid to throw in a personal project, that they are not afraid of ignorance and to be wrong and that they absorb absolutely everything they see, whether they like it or not.
You can find more images of the work and order a piece for yourself here.