– You are an Italian citizen but living in California. What did bring you to move overseas?
I moved to California three years ago because of my husband’s job transfer. At that stage we had been leaving in Ireland for four years, so we welcomed the challenge and the chance to explore a new country.
– Tell me something about yourself, who you are, which type of studies you made, which are your preferencies and propensities.
I have loved art and crafting all my life, but I have always considered that to be just a hobby. I studied accountancy in high school and worked in Finance for 13 years prior to deciding to change my life and pursuing my passion. I am now studying at the Academy
of Art University in San Francisco, major Photography, and running my ceramic studio, RossLab. Apart from ceramic and photography, I love reading, hiking, and watching old films.
– Since how many time are you working with ceramic?
I always wanted to take ceramic classes but never had the chance. When I first moved to California three years ago I finally had the time to try it out and I immediately fell for it.
– Do you listen to some kind of music (which kind?) while you are creating or do you prefer silence?
I always listen to music when I am in the studio. It really helps me to get into the flow of things and keeps me going when I am tired and I have things to finish. I listen to different genres, based on my mood, the piece I am working on, and even the weather. From Puccini to the Talking Heads and even more, it is all good.
– I would love to know how your creations were born.
There are many different scenarios. I usually start sketching what the prototype should look like and think about the glazes and decor. From there, I make the piece and, if I am happy with the result, I start producing more to sell. Other times I am so confident about
a piece that I will just make 20 at once and see how my customers react to them. When the piece is peculiar or has to serve a very specific purpose, on the other hand, I use the prototype for some time to make sure it is functional before making more to sell.
My very colorful cupboard is full of RossLab’s prototypes!
– What do you love about the United States and what do you miss about Italy?
Moving to the United States changed my life: I don’t think I would be able to do what I do anywhere else. I like how people here value the handmade community, want to support it and are interested in you as a maker and person. California is also an amazing state, with beautiful nature, and just the perfect weather. I don’t miss the Pianura Padana’s fog at all! What I do miss about Modena and Italy is, of course, family and friends, food, and our art and history. In Italy you don’t have to go to a museum to see them: they are all around you.
– Who is your favourite ceramist?
Given my love for mid-century and Scandinavian design, it has to be Lisa Larson. I love how playful her pieces are and how they represent an era in design and ceramic art. For the same reason I also like anything Bitossi. Such an Italian icon!
-Which is the next trip you would like to do?
If you asked me a few years ago I would have said something adventurous that probably involved backpacking and little planning, but the life here in the States is pretty chaotic and intense already, especially now that I am trying to manage both business and school. I would be very happy to spend some time in a cabin in the woods, with no phone or internet: just my potter’s wheel and some clay.
– Could you please describe how you develop your regular day?
I am a night owl, so my day usually starts around 8am. I have a big breakfast and then I either study/work on assignments for a few hours, or head straight to the home studio. I work on the wheel for a few hours, have a late lunch, and go back to working with clay
until late in the evening, with short but frequent breaks to cuddle my cat Cesare. I have dinner with my husband around 9pm and then I go for a run or back to the studio to pack any orders to ship before going to bed.
– Which are your projects for the future?
There are so many ideas in my mind on where to take RossLab! I would love to have a bigger studio and teach ceramic classes: a place for people to meet, learn and make their own art, too.