For the launch of our new PAX soothing and purifying oil, we partnered with French ceramist Marion Graux. She designed unique non-utilitarian pieces for us that accompanied us on our PAX campaign shoot. A pleasure for the heart to reconnect with the earth material we love so much, and a pleasure for the eyes to see our two worlds dancing together so harmoniously.
We had the joy of meeting Marion and asking her a few questions about her background, her inspirations, what makes her vibrate lately.
I was trained by village potters,
Absolution: Hello Marion, it's a pleasure to meet you and to walk together. Can you tell us more about your own path?
Marion: I started ceramics 13 years ago. CAP (vocational training certificate) in throwing. I wanted to make tableware. Because the table/food/pleasure and magic of making an object. And still today, opening a kiln with a utilitarian object, a plate made from a loaf of clay to an object in which we will eat soup on a Sunday evening, it continues to move me. It gives a lot of concreteness, it is an asset of the daily life to be anchored and to give meaning. Everyday I knew that it would be a pleasure, a fulfillment. I decided to choose my life, what life I wanted to "play". That doesn't make the job "easy", but it's still about being in charge and deciding what life you want to have. There is heart and soul in everything we do.
It took time, but starting with the utilitarian, before being a potter, I was trained by village potters, important in my legitimacy and this way of working that attracted me, the craft of use and work in series/cadence in the workshop, a workshop in the countryside finally, because it is very new workshops in town! These are originally rural crafts: because of the land, because of the kilns... but I am delighted to participate in this novelty that these workshops are being set up in Paris and in the cities in general.
The drawing sheet expands over time.
Absolution: What led you to do utilitarian work?
Marion: At the beginning, this need to be in the utilitarian, in the non-pretentiousness of the artistic to move forward and be secure in the intentions. I organized my way of working to function only on commission. Here again, when you set up your company as a craftsman, it is important to choose your way of working. And I'm fine with always working for someone. I found it very hard at the beginning to work without knowing for whom it will be, for whom I might want to have at home, it is daring not to be wanted! It is obviously comfortable to be desired before existing. I manage to advance in this way.
And more and more, it happens that there are new projects that take us out of the utilitarian and the dishes, even if it remains my base. The drawing sheet expands over time. Experience allows that too, I need time, basic range, to dare to do things more out of the box.
It's to have the privilege to be brought in places of my work that I don't know.
Absolution: What drives you in these 'out of the box' projects?
Marion: Each new project could worry me, stress me, ask for something different than what I've already done. Each new project excites me completely. I have released the apprehension I might have had when I was younger. It's extremely comfortable in the work: not being encumbered by this stage fright makes me move forward. You trust your intuition more. I know how I like to organize my work. For example, we both met, it's a brand that I like, I've known you for a year now, we've discovered each other, and I have the impression that I know your philosophy, it's a first entry that writes the beginning a bit. Seeing each other, talking to each other, letting the project be presented, you have to be completely porous, and that brings out ideas (in all modesty and simplicity) but I think you learn to let them develop.
As soon as you left, we (with Nine, my assistant) put into practice what we had said to each other far too quickly because some elements were missing (laughs). But it says a lot about how precious enthusiasm is, you drive it. It was too early but we will use it, it helps to build, and then it is "a delicious blood", because it is gushing. I consider that meetings like yours are a chance, it's to have the privilege to be brought in places of my work that I don't know. It is a gift. Today we meet to exchange on what we have started to do, new ideas, it is a playground!
It should be remembered that this is a profession that is the praise of slowness.
Absolution: Can you tell us more about the object you created, your creative process? Marion: We build a figure that will stage the image of this new product, and from that we extract an object that we are attached to and that is in the bathroom. A short time ago I was able to offer my children a set of wooden pebbles, which I did not give to my children, I consider that it is a game of mine, it is simply a simple wooden game that stacks or not. The raw and simple beauty makes you want to make more, and I think the ceramic material lends itself well to this. The challenge is to make an object that is just as endearing and poetic. We won't have the vein, we won't have the polish, we tell another story.
It was also a question of continuing a graphic design that was very nicely worked. How do we take up this story? It's an exercise. It is also reassuring to have a statement, it is very artisanal. I find my habits of the order, the constraint, the quantity... I am very comfortable with the request, the concern it is to please, but that is the history of a life! And we have time, that is also very important, you have the greatness to leave me time. Often, some people are not aware of what ceramics is, they want to do everything too fast and that leaves less time to do things well. It should be remembered that this is a profession that is the praise of slowness. It depends on the seasons (drying of the pieces...) we are normally dependent on that, we try to counteract these dependencies and dry faster.
We should tend towards this true reality of time which goes more or less quickly and not try to rush it. Besides, the more shortcuts we try to take, the higher the breakage rate.
Ça apporte de la profondeur, d'être capable de regarder profondément.
Marion: I like to make puzzles, like wall sculptures, that everything constitutes a whole. We thought of this cut circle which remains a figure... We also have the abundance of these small objects that we want to have in the hand, to manipulate it... It can be posed as a pretty object, each in its own way, under the oil to protect in its shelf of bathroom. To be a part of a whole is a beautiful philosophy. We want to be in this community. But also you who are a brand of cosmetics, to come to see me, I am honored, and that evokes the arts-deco where we could make bridges between the domains, you call me as a craftswoman with a more or less artistic creation, we mix our know-how, there is almost a patronage, it is an immense chance, I thank you, and I take advantage of it a lot it is very satisfying.
We wanted to have this abundance, this repetition. Which has to do with the dishes. I am never afraid of being bored, I make plates all day long, I never get tired of it. I like the repetition of an object. And it has to do with ritual, beauty ritual. You can't get tired of putting on cream one morning, it's part of the things that make you feel good. I often associate the repetition of gestures that are the same with yoga.
There is a richness in these repetitions, as we discover hidden zones at the beginning, little by little with the repetition. We could put layers of parallel situations, between the repetition in my ceramics workshop, the beauty ritual, and sometimes we see something in our face that we had never seen from the inside and by the passing of time. It brings depth to be able to look deeply.
To discover the world of Marion Graux, we invite you to visit her website and her instagram account.
A collaboration around creativity, calm and rituals
PAX — purifying and soothing CBD oil
She is the star of this collaboration, the one who gave birth to the beautiful objects shaped in clay by Marion Graux. We are honored to share our love for ceramics and beauty in all its forms. We are happy to introduce you to PAX, our soothing oil rich in 15 certified organic botanicals that will bring calm and kindness to your skin care ritual.