Ceramist discovers talent during COVID lockdown

By Faten Omar

KUWAIT: The COVID-19 pandemic brought about an unprecedented shift in daily life, forcing people around the world to stay at home to curb its spread. This led to significant changes in how individuals allocated their time and energy. Sara Mahmoud, a 23-year-old ceramic artist, was one of the people who discovered their talent during the lockdown. Kuwait Times spoke with Mahmoud, who explained how she turned her passion into a small business she loves.

Kuwait Times: Tell us the background of your journey.

Sara Mahmoud: I started my journey in February 2020, a month before the lockdown. I booked a 12-class course at a local ceramic studio to learn wheel throwing. Unfortunately, I only took four of these classes before the lockdown. In December that same year, I found an alternative — I bought a clay kit and started hand-building at home, firing my pieces at a local studio. I loved the idea of creating handmade ceramics for my friends and family. I filmed my creation process and shared it online. I officially started selling my products in August 2021, nearly a year after doing it as just a hobby!

Kuwait Times: What led you into working with ceramics?

Mahmoud: Curiosity. I love trying new things, and this hobby stuck. I’m mostly self-taught, but my wheel-throwing beginnings were with a local instructor. I found wheel throwing very difficult and felt very discouraged after my course, so I stuck to hand building. I was later offered an exclusive membership at a ceramic studio, where I started practicing on the wheel again, and eventually got better by trial and a lot of error.

Kuwait Times: Who inspires you?

Mahmoud: Creators in all fields! I find myself subconsciously influenced and inspired by the love, time and effort they dedicate to their passion and craft.

Kuwait Times: How would you define the style of your work and how did it develop?

Mahmoud: Homey. I think most of my ceramic illustrations are based indoors, at home and in my natural habitat. My earlier illustrations were very bland and didn’t express my art style; it developed into detailed illustrations once I understood the glazes I was working with.

Kuwait Times: What is on your mind when you are shaping an object?

Mahmoud: I spend an average of 5-6 hours in the studio six days a week. So I’m often left contemplating things. Yet, my productivity depends on my mood.

Kuwait Times: The colors of your pieces are one-of-a-kind. How did you develop your color palette and how does it change with time?

Mahmoud: I’ve always leaned more toward pink, green and purple. My summer collection has mainly bright colors, whereas my winter collections have darker colors, and pastels during spring. But I usually go back and forth mixing colors — it’s my favorite part! I’m currently using white stoneware clay, but I’d love to work with porcelain in the future.

Kuwait Times: What advice would you give to beginners who want to learn pottery?

Mahmoud: Practice makes progress. Take your time exploring this craft — it’s not the easiest to work with, but very rewarding.

Kuwait Times: What projects have you most enjoyed making?

Mahmoud: My ‘homebody’ collection. It’s the first collection I worked on that has detailed illustrations. It was a push that made me understand my art style better.

Kuwait Times: What is your favorite piece? Why?

Mahmoud: My ‘Relaxing is productive’ mug. It’s a reminder that taking time off is crucial to be productive.

Kuwait Times: Do you have a dream project?

Mahmoud: I dream of hosting my own clay workshop in the future. It would be lovely to meet people and share my love for ceramics with them — a joy shared is a joy doubled!

The post Ceramist discovers talent during COVID lockdown appeared first on Kuwait Times.

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