Interview / Meet The Artists

Ceramics as a Respectful and Spontaneous Process – An Interview with Ayşe Tanman

Meet Ayşe Tanman, a ceramic artist, whose bowl forms are inspired by the concept of abundance and fertility. Read more about her unique story and peaceful journey.

Interview by Bahar Ahu Sağın

How did you discover ceramics? What is your first recollection?

As a kid, I first spotted ceramic panels and works on building facades, hotel walls and grand bazaars. I used to watch them in awe. Such memories made a huge impact on my discovery. As far as I can remember, I was always surrounded by art. For many years I did ballet. I also worked with various other mediums including painting and (Ottoman) illumination. Approximately 10 years ago, I began working with ceramics.

What was the first thing you made with clay?

When I was 8-9 years old, I used to mix garden soil with water. To this day, I still remember the forms of those sundried pots and plates I made for play. 

Who and what influenced you most during your journey in ceramics?

I discovered a sense of inner peace. What was gathered within me, over the years and across various fields fused with mud and found its form in my ceramics. Right now, I feel like all is in harmony. For many years I’ve worked with ceramics and people used to say that I must share these with other people. I listened to my inner voice and when I was ready everything happened spontaneously. 

During this process, is there anything you said ‘luckily, I …’ ?

Luckily, I bumped into mud and started this journey.

How would you describe your relationship with clay?

At times, it is quite challenging. You need to follow certain rules, be patient and honest. It never forgets. The result is mutually remarkable as long as one respects this relationship. And then there is glazing, one of the most challenging aspects of working with clay. 

How would you describe your philosophical approach to making?

I usually work with bowl forms. They remind me of merged hands praying with good intentions. As if blessings will fill the insides. I also believe that clay picks up positive vibes during the process of making. The finished form then passes on those vibes to its surroundings.

How do you spend your day in the studio?

I set up a home studio during the pandemic. I spent most of my time in here. I like working for long hours listening to music and audio books. I also share a second studio space with my friends. This is a space where we spend time together and organise workshops for those who are interested in learning ceramics.

What’s on the horizon for your brand?

Right now, I am enjoying the moment. Instead of making plans, I prefer to go with the flow. Just like my works, I follow a natural and spontaneous process. I follow where my hands and mud lead me to.

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