The Lust Series - I&You Ceramics
With the food game still making its mark on social media, it's no surprise that styling is becoming more and more important. How you actually plate your food isn't just for those in the restaurant industry, even the everyday foodie that perhaps hosts a gathering wants a little something special to serve their culinary dishes on. Take for example popular lifestyle and recipe developer bloggers such as Alison Wu and Lee From America, who both often snap their colourful fruit bowls or matcha lattes in beautifully designed ceramic plates and mugs made from local artisans. I&You Ceramics is a labour of love created by Irina Yudina that we first discovered whilst at Espai Joliu, though we have also spotted their goods at markets such as Festivalet and MyBarrio among others. Read on to find out more about the brand and all things ceramic.
How did you come up with the name?
I should admit that it was not easy to choose the right name for my brand, but I was sure that it would need to be something more special than my own. I wanted it to show the relationship between the maker and the customer...something personal. After months of playing around with words, I came up with a more clear vision of the concept that can be phrased as “from me to you”, “from my hands into your hands”, “me, sharing love with you”. Meanwhile, I realised that it would be interesting if at least my initials could take part in it and bring a hidden meaning to the brand name. That was when it all became clear and I&You Ceramics was born.
Where are you from?
I am originally from Moscow, Russia but the last 8 years I’ve been based in Barcelona.
What is your design background? What made you start designing?
I have a background in graphic design. I started my studies in arts and crafts at the university in Moscow and then, I moved to Barcelona where I’ve obtained the degree in this field. Afterwards, I’ve been working in a digital agency for almost 5 years. I still enjoy working on web design projects from time to time and I created the visual identity for my brand - I&You Ceramics.
At a certain point in my career, I noticed that I was spending too much time in front of the computer and I felt the eager of creating something physical with my hands. Working with a pottery wheel was my childhood dream and when I finally had an opportunity to learn it, I started classes at ceramics school. I immediately felt that working with clay connects me really well, it became a kind of creative meditation. After a couple of years of classes, I felt that few hours per week is not enough for me. The school had a co-working for ceramic artists and I made a decision to rent a space there and practise more by myself. Since then I was spending many evenings in the studio developing my own style, experimenting and practising the wheel throwing technique. I was attracted by this contrast of the virtual world of design and the real physical world of ceramics. My friends gave me a huge support and helped me to understand that it is possible to push my hobby to another level. I was fascinated with the idea that people are using my products in their day-to-day lives and that I can connect with like-minded people through my work, and transmit my values to the world.
Last year was a crucial moment in my professional life when I left the office and focused all my energy and time on my brand of handmade ceramics. Each piece is unique and created with love and attention in order to reflect the beauty and functionality of everyday objects.
What inspires you?
I feel inspired by travels and long walks.
For example, I was very inspired by my last trip to Copenhagen. I have never seen so many design stores and pottery studios. I am a big fan of the Scandinavian style, smart and minimalistic. Big cities give me energy and keep me motivated. On the other hand, to process all the ideas I also need peaceful moments in nature. I love hours spent by the sea or long walks in the mountains enjoying colours and textures. I like to describe my work with the metaphor: when nordic minimalism meets with the warm and gentle south.
Ideas can come from anywhere, even going out for a dinner can bring new insights as I always pay attention to how the food is served and composed. I wonder if it would be possible to modify or improve the tableware depending on the interior, cuisine or type of dishes. Now I am focusing more on finding a bigger project. I would love to collaborate with a restaurant, cafe or a bar on a special collection of tableware.
How would you describe your ceramics in 3 words?
Where can people buy your products?
My products are available for purchase in my online store: http://www.iandyouceramics.com/products.
They can also be found in some stores in Barcelona:
Espai Joliu, https://www.instagram.com/espaijoliu
Casa Protea, https://www.instagram.com/casaprotea
And finally, you can always visit me in the studio in Poblenou, Barcelona.