Today meet Morana Depoli, a young artist from Dubrovnik. She creates beautiful collections of household ceramics named Peruna.
Morana, what brought you to Dubrovnik?
I came to Dubrovnik seven years ago because I had met someone from here. I had also visited the city regularly for years before that, that’s how I gradually got to know it.
Does your environment affect your inspiration? Are there places in Dubrovnik that you find particularly inspiring?
Of course the context that we are in influences everything that we do, including our creative processes. What inspires me most of all here is the pleasant climate, the peace that I have on the Lapad peninsula where I live and work, and the proportions of the city where everything is close to hand. Those are the external factors which enable me to hear myself and put something of myself into the ceramics which I design and make.
How did you start off in ceramics and find your calling?
Clay is a wonderful material which lets itself be shaped in countless ways. All you have to do is understand its basic laws and surrender yourself to it. I chose the potter’s wheel as the tool with which I dedicate myself to creating ceramic objects. I was simply magically attracted to the wheel and dreamed that one day I would learn how to use it. And my dream came true and today it is my job.
You create beautiful, useful objects which in a way also become a souvenir. Have you ever thought about your work in that way?
My ceramics are created in Dubrovnik, and, as I mentioned, this place does influence my work. It doesn’t have the characteristics of a souvenir in any shape or decorations that represent the city, but they are ceramics which are souvenirs through the very fact that they are made in Dubrovnik.
You have set up a partnership with some small restaurants and businesses and created ceramics especially for them. Is there any difference between creating an item according to someone else’s wishes and working only with your own ideas?
The partnerships which I have set up with some small restaurants have been very interesting. They were created on the basis of good communications and defining a concept with their owners. We always start with the material itself and my limitations, because I like to take a realistic approach to what I am dealing with. After some time doing testing in my studio we choose the samples which will make up the set of dishes. I try to give myself space to express myself freely even when I am working on an order for a client, and they usually have confidence in my work.
You also organise courses in ceramics. Do you enjoy the role of a teacher?
Teaching courses in ceramics I currently find very fulfilling since I really do wish to pass on my knowledge of this ancient technique for working with clay. Through many years of work with the potter’s wheel I have gained useful experience which I am glad to pass on to others. I have a positive approach and I think that anyone who is attracted to the wheel can learn to make ceramics if they have a good teacher. And that worked well for me with each of the ten or so students that have learned this skill in my studio.
Finally, where can our readers find your work?