Spanish-born artist Carolina Silva is the maker behind the delicately brazen ceramic tableware of Dorotea Ceramics. Situated on Vashon Island just south of Seattle, Silva’s one-woman studio presents the colorful flora of the Pacific Northwest in heirloom-ready pieces.
How did Dorotea Ceramics get started?
My background is in painting and new genre art, but shortly after moving here in 2010 I did a residency at Seattle University and my studio was next to the ceramics department. I found I loved working with clay, and after my daughter Dorotea was born, I started working from home making smaller ceramic pieces.
What do you love about clay?
It allows you to make anything. It’s a very open and humble material, which gives a great deal of freedom. There’s no right or wrong way to work with clay.
Tell us about your process.
Everything is hand built. All the shapes have a sense of imperfectness. I use a needle tool to draw the patterns, and after firing I apply glazes with brushes and sponges, which is my favorite part. It links to my love for painting.
How does the Pacific Northwest inspire your work?
Anything that grows wild here fascinates me. I love how in the Northwest all kinds of different plants and flowers grow together. My favorite gardens are the ones where weeds and flowers chaotically coexist.