The Expressiveness of Mud with Inaki San

The Expressiveness of Mud with Inaki San

April 01, 2021

I have always been interested in the world of art, the expressiveness of mud, the fruit of this research, my relationship for years with master potters and my enrollment in the art school to get the degree and training necessary for the creation of my own works, From that moment all my life will be destined and dedicated to research, teaching, as well as to the elaboration of both decorative and functional pieces. I participate in certain ceramic fairs and I expose my creations in both collective and individual exhibitions. My current work is based on the nature of the environment where I live, clayey and cracked lands due to lack of water, the plowed fields of the Armuña lands, the forests of the Sierra de Francia, which I treat in each one of my plays.

Spanish ceramicst, Inaki San with exhibits of his artwork


What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?

The world of the arts always caught my attention, I always had it in my mind, but formal painting did not quite fill my artistic needs and I did not gain creative enjoyment from it and the two dimensional path always left me feeling a bit short as a tool for my creativity, it was then that the world of clay crossed my path. I took my first steps with a master potter, and later I would visit other master ceramists, but I would consider my training, although I studied at the School of Applied Arts in Salamanca, as being more self-taught.

How would you describe your own personal style?

I try to make my style different and personal, although from one stage to the next the way I convey what I want to express changes.

What pushed you in that direction and how can you see your work evolving in the future?

I always look for the unique work


What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?

Above all I am inspired by the nature that surrounds me, in the fields and landscapes of my land, in the metaphors of the human being.

Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?

Inspiration comes in many forms, in the thoughts of many artists, in which they base their work, in their philosophy, in the abstraction resources that they use in their works.

When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?

No, I can use the lathe, I can use my hands, modeling sticks, spatulas, it depends on the time and what I want to convey at all times.


When it comes to the subject matter of your work, what draws you to those themes?

I am crazy about textures, cracks, textures of colour, we are black.

Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?

I always start with a thought, with an emotion, which goes to the sketchbook, clay allows me to make textures harder or surfaces smoother, many times looking for opposition, so that there is a dialogue.

Could you describe your normal day as an artist? Have you set routines and rituals or is a more a case of when the moment is right you work?

I don't have a specific routine, it has to reach me, I can work very hard without stopping or take time to meditate on the work.


When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?

Yes, the moment I get inside the work, I do not stop, it is a long process, which I control to a certain point, but remember I work with clay and ceramics and that requires the final step through the kiln, which is the one that dictates the end of the work.

How has your art evolved to be where it is today?

It changes like the person himself, I think I have matured, now I am looking for each work to be unique and different.


Which of your artworks are you most proud?

I am a good father, I remember each of the works that have come out of my hands, perhaps the last one always marks you a little more proud, but each of the stages is important and it marks you.

Is there a fellow artist alive today that you admire? If so, why?

Yes, there are many that I like, but if I have to select, I'll stick with Miquel Barceló for the courage and impudence of his works, Enriq Mestre for the purity of lines and the degree of abstraction, Pierre Bayle for the subtlety of his finishes, Claudi Casanovas for the brutality that he imprints on his work, Nino Caruso another great one who I innovate looking for new paths.


If you could travel back in time, is there a particular artistic period / era that you would like to have been involved in?

No, I am content in the current one, I find it exciting, to be able to create a work from a small town from anywhere and in a second it can be seen all over the world, it is fascinating.

What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?

I believe that the new technologies, which have not only become part of the production mechanisms of culture, but also of its communication mechanisms, of art diffusion.


What advice would you give to a young aspiring artist currently studying art?

That you put passion into your work, that you investigate, but above all that you have fun.

Despite having developed your own distinctive style, is there another style of art that you are immediately drawn towards and admire? Why?

Architecture, the art of making a building that is a great sculpture that lasts in time in a fresh way, I find fascinating.


We have all heard of the unfinished masterpiece, even Da Vinci laboured away at the Mona Lisa for years and years, have you works that are in a continual process of evolution? When working on an artwork do you find it hard to let go? Knowing when enough is enough?

Sometimes you have a work in the studio that does not speak to you, and it remains to be finished, but you hope that one day it will speak to you and have a good ending, but not much happens to me. When I work I forget the time.

Many people see artists as storytellers or advocates for a cause, do you believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to shine a light on a particular subject / theme, or do you create purely for the sake of expression your creative nature?

I believe that when a person stands before a work they have to feel that it transmits to them, what they feel when looking at it, what they see in it, why they are passionate about it or why not.


What are you working on at the moment?

I am working with natural clays, with very smooth and polished surfaces, with colors of natural earth and black, looking for color textures, I look for simple and clean lines.

Have you ever been part of an artistic group / movement? How did your work benefit from that experience?

No, but I have always had close contact with fellow artists from my city and my region.


When is your next exhibition? Is it a solo or group exhibition? Could you tell us a little about the exhibition, when and where it is?

My next exhibition had to have been held in April 2020, but with the covid-19 pandemic it was not possible, we are still with restrictions, I hope I can do it at the end of the 21st or maybe the 22nd. The chosen place is the Castle of the Biosphere of the Sierra de Francia, but I have other possible rooms, of which I have offers. It will be individual, in which I will expose different parts of my work, series "Allegories" metaphors of life that make you think about the triviality of the moment we live, series "Armuña" a walk through the fields of labor, wheat, rye , of barley…. near my house, the series “Arribes” a clash with the brutal landscape of the Duero River with the stone and the breaking of the abysses of the land. Spanish

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