Ana Rod is a ceramicist from La Coruña, Galicia, in the northwest of Spain. She lives and works in Madrid, after moving there to study Fashion Design at the Istituto Europeo di Design. Ana has already had a successful career; working as a fashion and graphic designer, along with art directing for several brands, including her own. She has always been interested in Industrial and Product Design and began exploring different materials; including concrete, wood, metal and perspex, and finally discovered clay, which she admires for its simplicity. We spoke to Ana to find out more about her playful, sensory ceramics.
Ana works in a very fluid way; she says she never really knows where the inspiration comes from, but sees it as not only an accumulation of what's around her but the way she interprets and rebuilds it. It's not something that happens consciously. This is a different process to the way she worked in fashion, which very much revolved around a theme that she immersed herself in; developing colours, textures, patterns and shapes, with an end goal of a collection. Now, working with clay Ana starts with 'a couple of foggy ideas and then let the hands do the rest.' She tells us honestly, 'sometimes its a waste of time, a dead end. But even in that case, you always learn something along the way. And other times, one shape leads to another, and a new construction technique that I just learned gives me a new idea of how to continue the piece.'
Ana tells us she's 'a newbie' with ceramics. To fully immerse herself in learning about this new material she found PotterGym, a co-working studio in Madrid where she could keep her tools and learn from others. She loves the natural light of the workshop, having materials to hand, the amazing teachers, and the shared artistic environment - which is a huge advantage when it comes to sharing ideas and learning.
We asked Ana which artists she admires, and she cited classics such as Verner Panton, Edward Hopper and Leonora Carrington to contemporary artists including Sophie Smallhorn, Brian Rochefort, Yun Sohyun, Boldron, Zemer Peled, Sergio Prieto and Héctor Francesch.