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07 April 2021

Julie Loaëc and ceramics : a story of encounters !

A few weeks ago, we met Julie Loaëc, a ceramist who has opened a boutique-workshop in Brest. We discovered a magnificent workshop, born from a succession of encounters.

Let’s go back in time: 

Julie Loaec was born in Brest. She started her studies in Rennes with a Bachelor’s degree in Plastic Arts, in order to become a teacher. During her years of study, she practiced engraving. One of her teachers particularly appreciated her work and decided to let her have the keys to his studio so that she could work there as she pleased! Julie discovers the joyful solitude of working in a studio. It was surprisingly, at first, the atmosphere of working in a studio that pushed her to abandon her wish to be a teacher. She then began to visit the workshops of creators in the city…

The encounter with ceramics!

Francine Triboulet julie loaec brest betagne céramique céramiste boutique atelier

portrait of Francine Triboulet – Tesson Exquis

It was while visiting the workshop of Francine Triboulet, a ceramist, that she first approached the practice of ceramics. Fascinated by the forms and the utility of Francine Triboulet’s creations, Julie Loaëc’s practice was transformed from sculpture to the creation of objects for everyday life. The utility function of the objects she creates – without ever abandoning the poetic aesthetics of her own – then becomes primordial. The possibility of injecting poetry into the daily routine, through an object, delights her. She decided to take the competitive examination at the École Supérieure des arts appliqués in Paris. Convinced that she would not be accepted, she prepares in parallel a file of European voluntary service to work in Portugal. Life decided otherwise!

julie loaec brest betagne céramique céramiste boutique atelier vase sculpture

“Vase sculpture” – Julie Loaëc

Accepted at the Duperré School in Paris, she packed her bags and began her training. During her training, the trend is towards conceptual and minimal art. Her practice of ceramics, as a support for the poetic illustrations she creates, is badly perceived.

julie loaec brest betagne céramique céramiste boutique atelier maison à la campagne

“Maison à la campagne” – Julie Loaëc

The encounter with clay!

Julie multiplied her training courses to perfect her throwing skills and to be able to produce identical forms in series. However, working in series and producing identical pieces does not fulfill her. It gives her the feeling of taking part in an industrial production. It is during an apprenticeship in the Berry region, with Eric Astoul, that she lets go. She lets herself be carried away by the shape she feels and sculpts accordingly. From then on, each of her creations acquires its own identity. Turning becomes the opportunity, always renewed, of an encounter with the material!

eric astoul julie loaec brest betagne céramique céramiste boutique atelier

Portrait of Eric Astoul – Galerie Prisme

Ceramists, a big family!

As for the clay, it’s through the encounter with the material that Julie Loaëc finds her identity as a creator. Her identity as an artisan-ceramist is rooted in her encounter with ceramists’ collectives. During her various training courses, she discovered a world where mutual aid, conviviality and authenticity prevail. At a time when individualism rules, the community of ceramists remains an island of benevolence in which she enters little by little.

Back in Brest, it is filled with these values that she opens with Elsa Alayse, ceramic sculptor, the workshop-boutique that we discover.

The workshop-boutique

Her work has continued to evolve. If the first years of her practice were influenced by the practice of engraving and used essentially the declination of black and white, color is now imposed. Nourished by her surroundings, urban representations give way to sensitive projections of nature.

céramique julie loaëc bol rond paysage bleu Brest boutique atelier

“Paysage Bleu” – Julie Loaëc

A long process of creation

Julie Loaëc works on the length. Her creation protocol fits perfectly into the principles of slow-production. The creation process lasts one month. She starts with the mixture that will give birth to her porcelain, a mixture of quartz, feldspar and kaolin with pipe clay added. Once the raw material is created, she sculpts it to give life to atypical everyday objects. 

julie loaec brest betagne céramique céramiste boutique atelier

She then designs the engobes herself, which she uses to integrate the color into her porcelain. The engobes are a kind of thin coating based on diluted clay, applied raw on a ceramic piece to modify its natural color. Their preparation consists of a mixture of oxides and dyes. Once the engobes are finished, she begins the decoration, nourished by her maritime and rural walks in Brittany!

assiette rochers algues céramique Julie Loaëc Brest Bretagne France boutique atelier

“Rochers-algues” – Julie Loaëc

Julie Loaëc continues until she obtains 80 to 90 pieces, which is the capacity of her ceramic kiln. Then begins the first firing of 980°. Once this is finished, she glazes the outside and keeps the inside raw. This particularity is one of the elements that characterize its aesthetic. Then follows the last firing which this time reaches 1280°!

The process ends with the sanding that defines the softness of each piece, giving it a unique tactile identity.

céramique tasse soucoupe noir végétal julie loaëc Brest Bretagne boutique atelier

“végétal” – Julie Loaëc

Objects for encounters

Julie Loaëc’s favorite part of the process is making the decorations! She makes them first for herself, that’s where she expresses her interiority the most. When someone likes one of her creations, it is then the occasion of a meeting, between two universes. Julie Loaëc is particularly fond of visits and the discussions they generate in her studio. But the peak of happiness is when her creations are actually used as objects. She loves the idea that her pieces can bring poetry into our daily routines.

julie loaec brest betagne céramique céramiste boutique atelier

Portrait of Julie Loaëc

Find the world of Julie Loaec and her creations on her Kreamondo profile.

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