For this subcultalk we spoke with Tiziana Schembri, a Maltese but Berlin-based passionate ceramicist and founder of ceramic studio Clayground.
She is also the host of the Wheel Throwing and Hand Building Ceramic Workshops.
1. What’s the art you’re doing?
My art is focused on contemporary ceramics, both functional and decorative.
I would say that my preferred method would be creating ceramics on the pottery wheel.
I am inspired by my life growing up in Malta, surrounded by the sea, the natural coastline and the little bit of chaos one finds on a tiny island.
I also draw inspiration from Japanese and historical ceramics, such as Etruscan pottery, as well as you could say, exhibitions that I visit from time to time.
2. How did you find your way into your art?
Funny enough, it was thanks to my mum. When I was 7 years old she asked if I would like to try a pottery class back in Malta and it was the only hobby that stuck with me.
I was hooked from day one, and at the age of 38 I can honestly say, I never stopped learning, attending workshops and developing as a maker. I find it hard to call myself an artist, but I love what I do.
3. What is the reason why you keep doing your art?
I find it hard to express myself in words, I tend to hide myself behind my work and let it speak for me. I feel that it is the perfect outlet for my thoughts and feelings.
Clay is so versatile, and with that many techniques, the material allows me to express myself fully. I also find it meditative and relaxing, as do many who try ceramics for the first time.
4. What do you do when you feel stuck?
I do not touch clay. I try to seek inspiration in other art forms, whether it’s music, painting, or photography.
I draw from my memories, and most of all I sketch rough drawings of ideas that come to mind. I may not use these immediately, but one day I may revert to them when I am stuck again.
5. How do you deal with setbacks?
I am Mediterranean... I occasionally have a dramatic meltdown.
But I tend to do this in private. It is good to let go, vent, and get things off one’s chest. After that, I tend to find like-minded individuals with whom I can discuss my issues, and after that, I try to set a plan and stick to it.
6. What is your highlight during your whole time working as an artist?
This has to be one of the hardest questions. However, recently, I met an artist from Korea, and they taught me some interesting techniques that have helped me to develop my skills better. In them, I also found a new friend.
7. When do you feel most productive?
After two cups of coffee.
8. What inspires you most?
As mentioned above, most of my ideas come from previous experiences, travel, and exhibitions.
9. Do you have a vision or a goal you're working towards?
Next year I am hoping to start on a personal project.
I would like to work towards an exhibition that showcases my journey as a ceramicist. I would like this to show where I started and where I am at the moment.
10. For you, what is a life well lived?
One that allows me to do what I love and share this with the people I love most.
11. What’s your favorite feeling?
The sensation of floating in the sea.
12. What’s the feeling you like the least?
The stress that comes with not knowing if I have taken a good or bad decision - regret.
13. What are you most afraid of?
The tax man/woman.
14. Your favorite guilty pleasure?
Chocolate and coffee.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all of our questions, dear Tiz!
If you'd like to meet Tiz in real life and learn from her profound skillset, book one of her "Wheel Throwing or Hand Building" Ceramic Workshops that take place at her studio in Danneckerstraße in Berlin Friedrichshain.
Until next time!
Your Kat and Team subcultours