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"We must make love with clay": interview with Ilaria Loriga

Sagoma Ceramics is a corner of creativity in the heart of the Capital, in which intimate contact with matter and free absence of schemes are necessary to make clay


In the big city everything runs, everything is inserted in Calendar, everything breaks the second. There are corners of peace, far from desks and tourist attractions, where the imperative is to slow down. In the Prati district, in Rome, Sagoma Ceramiche is one of these oases; we talked about it with Ilaria Loriga, its creator.

Silhouette Ceramics has literally taken shape for a month! How was the project born?

Exactly, even if it was born from another project, a few years ago: Laboratorio Terre. This was too institutionalized; I was looking for something with a more personal character but without my name. Since my boyfriend is better with names than me, during a trip Silhouette came out: in the following days, the more I repeated this word and the more I made it my own. Most of the day I live in my lab.

How did you learn to work clay?

I have always had a strong artistic vein, but it was in quarantine that I came into contact with clay: I bought the DAS on Amazon and modeled in my bedroom, at night. I learned a lot watching videos on Youtube and reading a lot of books: a bit I miss creating straight away, like in that period. I needed to vent, reconnect with my island, Sardinia, and Ilaria.

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Un post condiviso da Sagoma Ceramiche (@sagomaceramiche)

Why did you leave the island for the capital?

First I was in Milan, then I came to Rome to be an actress. I understood the mechanisms of that world: I didn’t abandon it completely but I corrected the course a bit.

How do you live the laboratory dimension in a city like Rome, which seems to never stop?

You have to find your own dimension: it is a city that eats you. The beauty of this city is that when I walk, I look up and I can always study something: there are many ideas.

Are there other sources from which you draw inspiration for your creations?

Sardinia is a continuous source of inspiration: as a good island, the relationship with my land is very strong and important. And then my mother, who is no longer there: the first exposure I did just before he left; it inspires me a lot in what I do.

Tell me about your first creation.

A disaster! Some I saw just a few days ago and I saw the improvements in the technique. They are creations of a particular period of my life, which I have never cooked. I decided to break them: as I often say during the courses, "do not become attached to the objects you create, they can be broken".

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Un post condiviso da Sagoma Ceramiche (@sagomaceramiche)

Let’s talk about the courses: how do they take place?

In this month I met many boys and girls, between 18 and 36 years: there is the desire to want to create something, to see an object take shape. They don’t use phones, they talk to each other, they have fun. Basically they are all beginners, which I leave free to create any object on one condition: that they are light and gentle with the matter. I always say to them: "with clay we must make love to each other, do not abuse it".

Do people manage to let go, creating in the making, or do they want to make the perfect object?

You have to rely on an image, but then you have to make it your own. Generally they understand my approach: making clay is something that comes from within me, it’s therapeutic for me and it becomes therapeutic for them too.

The object you haven’t created yet?

I have a project inspired by the ancient, objects once again coming from my land. For a while I’ve been thinking about the idea of the classic chair of the grandmother, the one in wood with the seat woven of straw. Then a long, long and elegant ashtray, a little chic... I have many ideas for the head!

How do you imagine Sagoma in a year?

Two streets, apparently irreconcilable: a giant place with many employees on one side; a small workshop, a small room size of the origins on the other. If I have to look ahead, I would like to return to the Sardinian countryside: I would no longer want to buy clay but look for it on the banks of the rivers.



Illustration by Gloria Dozio - Acrimònia Studios