The ceramist behind the brand Voy Studio is Felícia Sugár, with whom our creative director, Melinda has a long-standing friendship. Her talent, perseverance and self-identified personality make her a true #daigemuse for us. We asked Felícia about her story with ceramics and our collaboration, the SOAKED jewellery collection as well.
You graduated as an economist. How did pottery come into your life?
Ending up as an economist is a bigger mystery to me, to be honest. I was always a very artistic child but to have the courage to pursue art as a career I would have needed support from my environment which wasn’t there so I chose a different path. I didn’t regret it though. Seeing my work from a business perspective as well comes quite handy actually.
During my years working in the fashion industry, I finally found that support system I lacked in childhood and it gave me the confidence to return to my true self and interest. And why pottery? I remember a particular moment when I decided to learn it. I was scrolling on Tumblr (you know that thing before Instagram) searching for images for mood boards and saw a photo of a handmade ceramic cup. Simple shape with beautiful glazing that reminded me of an abstract painting, except not on canvas but a vessel. I loved the idea of combining function and art so much that I wanted to learn how to make such objects, so I enrolled on a course. This was 7 years ago, and I haven’t looked anywhere but forward ever since.
You have a little boy. How do you balance motherhood and work/creativity flow?
It’s still a work in progress and I have a sense that it always will be. Fortunately, I have a very supportive family that allows me to be a mother and also pursue my career. For me this is quite ideal but it can be very challenging to find time only for myself, although I find it equally important.
I have another baby on the way, which will make life even more complex, but I’m sure we will figure out a way that works best for all of us. As for creativity, that’s the least complicated part. I find that motherhood gave me a new source of inspiration, energy and skill set, which is really beneficial for my work, both in terms of creativity and effectiveness.
How do you see the perception and opportunities for female artists today?
I feel very lucky and privileged as I never experienced any kind of discrimination based on my gender, neither from my customers nor my partners. I think female presence is very natural if not dominant in my profession. However, now that I have become a mother I see how it affects every aspect of a woman’s life, especially the months before and after giving birth and inevitably work is one of the most affected parts. This can be challenging from both an artistic and business perspective and conversations about the complexity, and expectations of this life stage for women and questioning the classic family models have only just begun.
What do you enjoy most about ceramics making?
I love that there’s always room for experimenting and to evolve. Possibilities are basically endless in ceramics. But the reason I chose to do this for a living is that making ceramics helps me to express a part of me that I don’t have words or any other tools for, so there’s a lot of healing and personal growth for me in the whole process.
Who are the most inspiring role models you have?
I really like the work of Helen Levi, who is an American studio potter, making mostly functional ceramics. There’s a lot to learn from her business model and I really enjoy her pots and humour, too. Another favourite of mine is Alana Wilson, who is a Sydney-based ceramic artist focusing on sculptural vessels. Her raw yet delicate pieces always leave me in awe.
What brings magic to your everyday life?
Surrounding myself with people I can really connect to and understand on a deeper level will always be the biggest source of magic for me. Being near water, any kind of light phenomena and flowers also lift my spirit.
Could you recommend artists/platforms to follow on social media?
Alana Wilson @alanawilsonstudio - I mentioned my admiration for her before
Clara Diez @claradiez - I love everything she does with cheese
Cecilia Renard @ceciliarenard and Pia Riverola @piariverola - they take such beautiful photographs of such simple joys of life
Markó Luca @_markoluca_ - She captures motherhood and everything that comes with it with such sensitivity, I love looking at her photographs
Kránicz Dodó @kranicz_dodo - Her illustrations are nothing short of humour, wit and brilliant use of colours
How were THE SOAKED ceramics made? Could you tell us more about the process?
This is our second collaboration with Melinda and DAIGE. The first one took place 6 years ago and I think we have evolved a lot ever since both personally and brand-wise but the mutual trust and support for each other's work hasn’t changed.
As for the process, THe SOAKED ceramics were made with slab technique. I use a rolling pin to roll out clay evenly, and then I cut out the shapes with the help of patterns I designed and made beforehand. The forms were inspired by DAIGE‘s own print, and the colours were chosen to complement the colour scheme of the collection. The glazing technique reflects Voy Studio’s signature style. Making jewellery and small appliances from clay is something I haven’t really done before. I had lots of fun experimenting and finding the balance that brings the essence of both brands together. I am really happy with the result, hope you’ll like it too.
What is your wildest dream right now?
I have many dreams and plans on how to expand Voy Studio as a brand and business, yet the wildest seems to be having a year off as a family to slow down, explore together and make ceramics only for joy, focusing on improving my skills rather than production.