Meet Ana Lucia Garcia, best know as: Alu, the creative mind behind: Retorno.
A pottery project which is the result during pandemic in 2020.
POTTERY / ART / HANDMADE
Tell us about yourself, what did you study?
"My name is Ana Lucia Garcia, and I was born in Lima, Peru. I first studied engineering in Lima, and later moved on to Fine Arts in London… as you could expect, I have a very rational mind, which is at the same time very sensitive. This allows me to put both settings into my projects and to combine these complementary perspectives." - Alu
How did ceramics come into your life?
In my artistic practice I focus on studying materials - trying to understand and question them. What are their properties and limitations? How can I play with the usual perceptions of the medium? This is how I started experimenting with clay. I couldn’t have enough of it and couldn’t put it down, so I created Retorno.
Why Retorno? - How would you define your style?
The intention behind Retorno is to incite curiosity and reveal the material as it is – being amazed by the playful imperfections that give a unique form from piece to piece, and showcase their own personality.
My style flows from the love for the medium and that’s why each piece is made with care: it’s about being grateful for what the medium has given me - lots of patience and presence - and giving back to that.
What is the process to create a piece?
1. Wedge the clay thoroughly to remove any air bubbles that can make the piece explode in the kiln.
2. Start by slowly pinching the clay to give it a bowl shape.
3. Let it dry until it is ready for the kiln.
4. The first firing goes to 1000ºC where it becomes ceramic and comes out as "bisque".
5. Glaze the piece.
6. Put in the kiln for its second firing.
7. Final glazed ceramic is ready to use.
#THELAST ARTIST OR PIECE YOU HAVE BEEN INSPIRED BY?
Alu: @flip.flop.flap – handmade unique pieces made with raw and distinctive forms, preserving natural tones of fired clay.
#THELAST POTTERY YOU HAVE MADE?
Alu: Beach inspired retorno bowl
#THELAST PLACE THAT HAS INSPIRED YOU?
Alu: Traveling around Perú is a main inspiration for me. Last time I was in the jungle, I fell in love with a town called Lamas, in the region of San Martin. They have many ceramics artisans and the place is all surrounded by yellow clay.
#THELAST SONG YOU LISTENED TO WHILE MAKING ART?
YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE ARTWORK?
Alu: Anything from Eva Hesse
#THELAST DECORATIVE ITEM YOU HAVE PURCHASED?
Alu: Cianotype photography from the streets of Sicily.
THE COOLEST PIECE OF #THELAST COLLECTION?
Alu: Vichy blouse
WHAT AWAITS RETORNO IN 2021?
Retorno is going international with a new home based in Barcelona. New collections soon!
"I also want to establish Retorno as a learning studio were people can learn more about ceramics as in a friendly, easy-going way" - Alu.