Beatriz Trepat was born in Rosario, Argentina, it was there that she became properly acquainted with ceramics, during her Fine Art training. In 1988 she moved to France and took up etching and engraving, before finding a potter's studio - where she revisited working with clay. Beatriz makes mini ceramic sculptures, around 12cm high, from her studio in Belleville, Paris.
Beatriz told us that her fondness of clay developed as a child; she enjoyed the intimate feeling of hand-building with the material. As she grew older, she recognised the possibilities to use ceramics as a means of expressions, and during her Fine Arts training, she searched for a potter's studio to learn throwing and glazing. At that time she made her first miniature sculptures mostly as experiments to test slips and glazes. Slips (coloured clay) were Beatriz's preferred method until she had her own studio - simply because transporting work to be fired was risky.
Each mini sculpture starts life as a small drawing based on found objects and ornaments that Beatriz has to hand; they are her starting point, they inspire and guide her. She then gathers stones, pieces of broken ceramics and porcelain trinkets. These, along with spikes, thorns and balls made from clay are attached to the sculptures - creating a story where the shapes and ornaments form a dialogue. During firing it's not unusual for the sculptures to twist and bend by their own free-will.
Beatriz tells us that her 'mini-sculptures represent daydreams.' The forms represent 'a tiny, narrow door that opens into a huge world'. Each object takes inspiration from the unpredictability of nature - in particular, the force of proliferation, growth and swelling. Each object is becoming a part of Beatriz's very own cabinet of curiosities.
Images by Thomas Deschamps