24 Hours With... LOLA MAYERAS
Looking for artful accents that will instantly elevate your home? LOLA MAYERAS is the new name to know. With joyful bursts of colour and playful forms, the French designer and ceramicist fuses everyday objects into contemporary standalone pieces and talking-point tableware. This is what 24 hours looks like in her whimsical clay universe...
“Fuel to start the day.”
“The first thing that I do in my Atelier is check if the oven from the night before went well. It's always a bit stressful but this one turned out perfect!”
“After emptying the oven, I analyse each piece carefully to be sure that there are no defects.”
“I remove the pieces from the moulds that have been resting since the evening before.”
What time do you wake up and where?
I’d love to be able to present a well organised schedule of my life, but in reality I don’t have a specific wake up time. At the moment I’m working on my production staying at my family house in the south of France, so I naturally adapt to their rhythm of life which means waking up around 8AM.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
As soon as I open my eyes, the first thing I want to have is a cup of coffee.
Where are you usually based?
This really depends, my social and personal life is based in Paris. I’ve been living there for about 11 years now and I feel home in the city and in my apartment. The atelier where I work however is in a small village in the south of France. So depending on my production schedule I can be in either of those locations for multiple weeks on end.
What does your average day look like?
With a coffee by my side I usually go through some emails and website management in the morning. Once that is out of the way I can focus on the different steps of the production process. I try to separate my days between filling the moulds, shaping the clay and glazing the pieces. This way I can fully focus on one step of the production at a time and I can fill the oven at a moment that suits my planning.
When I’m done prototyping a new collection, my boyfriend (photographer: @nahmlos) sometimes joins me in the south of France to photograph all the pieces. We then spend the afternoon shooting photos in the garden or in a small homemade photo studio. In the winter the atelier can be pretty cold, so I try to get back in house by the end of the afternoon and continue to work on some image research, sketching new ideas that I would like to explore, packing and shipping an order or just enjoying the afternoon off!
Do you have any morning rituals?
Besides a coffee and a shower I’m pretty much good to go, especially when I’m working in the atelier. Spending time on selecting my clothes wouldn’t make much sense as everything will be covered in clay in no time…
Where is your office located and how do you get there?
My studio is located next to my family house in the south of France. For many years it has been the atelier of my father who is a retired ceramist himself. So I’m lucky enough to not only be using his atelier right now, but also some of his materials and knowledge.
“I love to make moodboard collages of the things that inspire me at that time. They help me a lot to create an overview of the collection or communication that I'm going for.”
“Behind the scenes of a small photoshoot in my garden… Always on the other side of the camera is my boyfriend and photographer @nahmlos.”
“This is my favourite photo from the CARemics series. My neighbour was repairing these cars and he let us use them for a couple of hours: the light and the colours were perfect!”
How would you describe what you do?
I think that in my work I’m always trying to create a little universe of ideas put together in a coherent collection of pieces. For my first collection I gathered a lot of ideas and inspiration from the shapes and colours of 60s/70s design, pop art and the overall atmosphere of the south of France. For now these collections have always consisted of ceramic pieces, but for future collections I’m looking forward to expanding the universe into other lifestyle / interior designs.
How has your background influenced who you are today?
I can’t deny that my years of experience as a fashion designer in Paris helped me a lot! The way that I used to design new clothing collections is very similar to the process that I’m using now for my ceramics. I always start by doing a lot of image research, from fashion to ceramics, photography or architecture. Whatever catches my eye in this period gets all put together in a large moodboard of shapes, patterns and colours. This moodboard then functions as the base of whatever drawings or sketches I make after that! My ability to think in a collection rather than just focus on one piece definitely comes from my background in fashion.
How did you get your start in design?
As a child of a ceramist father I was introduced to design and creation from a very young age. Through him I discovered the beauty of handcrafted objects and art in general. It’s funny how I’ve always dreamt about leaving the village to pursue a fashion career in Paris, only to find myself back in my childhood bedroom, working in the atelier where I used to watch my father passionately work with ceramics.
What are the most important factors of the brand?
Besides the actual pieces that I’m making, I realised that visual communication is an important part of the brand. With help from my boyfriend we try to use photography as a way to show more of the universe that I’m trying to build. The colours and the ambience in the photos feels very well connected to the place where I grew up and where I now work from. This is also the place where I still draw a lot of inspiration from.
How do you get into a creative headspace?
I don’t necessarily have the feeling that I need to enter a specific headspace in order to create. I’ve always seen creativity more as a way of looking and thinking that doesn’t really have an on/off switch. That being said, I do have to organise myself in a way where I plan specific moments to work on the different parts of the designing process. But a good idea can pop up at any given moment. So sometimes trying to plan it can feel a bit useless as well :)
What do you do to take a break from work?
When I’m in the south I usually try to leave the house. Working and living within the same 20 metres makes me wanna go out and enjoy nature a bit. Five minutes away from the atelier there is a beautiful lake where you can swim through the spring and summer months. I’ve been going there since I was a child and I still love to go there every now and then. When I’m in Paris I spend most of my free time hanging out with friends, especially after a long production period in the south. It's so nice to catch up with everyone and enjoy the city life for a bit.
“Shelves in my studio where I keep some of my prototypes.”
“Celebrating the birthday of a friend.”
“Nice family dinner to finish the day.”
What’s on your bookshelf right now?
As I haven’t really read so much lately, I’d say half of the bookshelf is occupied by old books I used to read as a child. The rest is pretty much filled with the photography books and vinyl records of my boyfriend.
What do you usually do for dinner?
I really like to cook from home, it’s a nice moment in the day where I can listen to music and clear my mind a bit. It’s always satisfying to eat what you’ve cooked yourself, even if it’s just a simple pasta, or some sweet potatoes with fish.
What time do you go to bed?
Midnight at the earliest. I sometimes have trouble accepting that the day is finished so I don’t really plan a specific hour where I decide that the day is over.
Last thing you do before you sleep?
Watch an episode of Friends.
Do you have any evening rituals?
Brush my teeth, close my eyes :)
What do you dream about?
In the next few years I really hope to be able to develop and expand my visual universe outside of just ceramics. I have some ideas for fabric pieces and other lifestyle objects that I would like to explore and experiment with. Ideally I would be able to create small capsule collections, possibly in collaboration with other brands. In order to have time for those experiments I might need to outsource a part of my ceramic production to an atelier elsewhere. With the quantity of pieces that I sometimes have to produce in a short timespan, there isn’t much free time to experiment or work on the growth of my brand. But we’ll see how it goes, I’m still figuring things out as they evolve. Two years ago I would’ve never imagined that I would be where I am today, so I can only be grateful for what I already have.
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