DECO is always on the look out for quirky individuals with creative talents and businesses big and small. Luckily for guest writer Dominique Vieira, Joburg ceramicist Caroline Schulz Vieira also happens to be her mother, so cracking some interview time was a cinch.
Caroline Schulz Vieira is a Santiago-born ceramic artist and teacher, inspired by nature and currently living in Johannesburg. To use her own words, Caroline ‘delights in the exploration of forms as carriers of a more personal narrative whose beauty stems from their simplicity’. With a clear artistic appreciation for the simpler things in life, her studio space is an inspiring, productive haven for herself and the students that she teaches.
What role does art play in your studio?
Art is central to the studio space. My studio is filled with ceramic works made by myself and / or my students, images or live samples of pieces made by other artists. The visual references afforded by the art that surrounds us is very important.
How does your space inform or inspire your art?
My space is a place where my mind and soul can open up without any inhibitions and I can leave the world and its troubles behind completely. To be able to switch off like that is fundamental to a creative endeavour, without that art would not happen. My studio equipment is simple but solid and well-built to withstand years of use. Walls and floors are painted in neutral colours and are easy to keep clean, and I had large wooden windows and double doors built in that open out on to our lovely garden.
What is your favourite thing about your studio space & what would you most like to change?
My favourite thing about the studio space are the windows and the view out on to the garden. I would love to go double-storey, to double the space and incorporate a gallery. We could then literally live in the trees. Wow. Nature is for me the ultimate healer, and the presence of birds and plants in my work space is essential. View is everything. All these elements reflect my personality, I would say, in the sense that I love things that are basic, simple, natural, and that I love making the most of what I have.
I love things that are basic, simple, natural, and that I love making the most of what I have.
What art are you creating in your studio right now?
Right now I am making large sculptural vessels in the form of heads. I am working towards an exhibition that will take place at Ebony in Franschhoek in November later this year.
What is your dream commission?
One of my dream commissions would be to supply one wonderful restaurant – not a large one but a small exclusive one – with all their eatware, serving dishes, plates, cups, bowls etc.
Look at ancient anything, find what speaks to you and let that be a guideline for developing your own likes and loves.
What one piece of advice would you offer home-owners to make their own space more artistic?
Learn history of art. By this I mean, look at the past, because everything has been done already. The very distant past is the origin of all our inner and outer images – it’s the collective subconscious and where the original inspiration lies. Look at ancient anything, find what speaks to you and let that be a guideline for developing your own likes and loves. Trust it and keep it simple.
My studio space is a place where my mind and soul can open up without any inhibitions and I can leave the world and its troubles behind completely.
Want to know more?
Dominique Vieira is a self-proclaimed health-food nut, bookworm and ‘words girl’. She is a lover of beautiful things, real human connections, and of course, delicious food. When she isn’t living the café life, working on her healthy-food and lifestyle blog or doing yoga, you’ll probably catch her trying to figure out a way to text her dogs back home in Joburg.