The Catalan artist Claudi Casanovas was born in 1956. His ceramic works are exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, to international acclaim. After starting a ceramics cooperative in Olot, the Pyrenees, and creating domestic pottery for some time, he started to focus fully on sculptured ceramics towards the end of the eighties.
In his work, Casanovas has always tried to avoid the influence of other artists in order to develop an individual approach to tradition. He is mainly interested in the clay itself, and works with a mixture of local clay (Garrotxa, Catalonia) and imported French clay. The clay is subjected to both physical, chemical and esthetical experiments whereby he uses organic materials, metals and metal oxides that create porous openings and unusual colours after the firing, like a massive piece of lava. His work is often an expression of his strong emotional ties with the earth.
The final sculptural, weathered and irregular effect of the pieces are a result of cutting and sandblasting into the fired and unglazed massive surface.
Claudi Casanovas is not afraid of repetition, he is working from a theory of ‘bad memory’ in order to find new solutions to ceramic problems that have already been solved before:
“I have forgotten what the wheel looks like with its hypnotic movements, making perfect revolutions around the centre, listening only to the rhythm and its cadence. I have forgotten how my hands danced around the clay, so pliant, and how both my hands understood one another... I have forgotten the method, the precision and the comparative method. I do not know the difference between a satisfying result and a complete flop. I don’t know how many experiments are necessary to reach a satisfactory result. I no longer know whether the models need to be made on a small scale or the size of the final result.”
Claudi Casanovas is one of the most elemental of ceramic artists, someone who expresses that particular Catalan spirit of material and process, an alchemy of clay and water, a 'register of fire' as he has put it. His objects test and celebrate the purest qualities of the fired earth, the flux of the materials given permanence in an art of simplicity and power.