WHO IS ELISA SASSO?
Elisa, almost in her thirty-three, is an artisan potter, formally since 2015 with the brand Elisa Sasso Creazioni Ceramiche, although she has been working ceramics for about eight years. She firstly began selling her products among her friends and relatives and then in some markets.
Today Elisa is also committed in leading workshops for schools. Furthermore she reveals her next project at her pottery studio placed in Pinerolo town, where there will be soon some activities for aspiring ceramists.
Elisa Sasso's Contact :
HOW DID THE PASSION FOR CERAMIC START?
Elisa began attending 4 ceramics course's sessions at the Aquarius Association of Turin. Fascinated by this world, she continued to carry out workshops and short courses on minor techniques and high temperatures. What fascinates Elisa most is the manual work itself, but above all she loves the process of creating, from the beginning to final product, which sometimes she reproduced in dozens of pieces for her loyal customers: "I do not know if it's passion or necessity, meaning that very often I find myself putting pieces of real life, memories and experiences in the objects I create", says Elisa.
Her creations, especially those people appreciate most, always start with something intimate and personal. The clay becomes a privileged way to express herself. Some years ago the passion for ceramic led Elisa in Turkey, thanks to an European project about decorating techniques. It represented a high valueable experience, both personally and technically. Ceramics, as a form of art spreaded around the world, has the power to unite the people and their cultures. Each ceramic tradition holds a unique fascination for Elisa, thanks to the different techniques and materials that make each of it a unique artifact.
Two and a half years ago Elisa's career path was strongly marked by Japan.
She spent three months of intensive learning about porcelain at a renowned and young master, 40 km away from Nagoya city. Elisa tells how potters are revered by the Japanese, especially because of tea's old tradition, its rituals and the excellent attention to details. Porcelain is a wonderful material, but very expensive and difficult, Elisa does not rule out one day to start working it.
Elisa started the Japanese adventure without thinking too much, she left everything, but once arrived at destination she found very different working conditions than she expected, not proprerly an apprenticeship. She was intended to work 9 hours daily in a small factory, for six days per week, in a dusty space and under high stress level.
In addition, Elisa faces another hurdle: on the basis of a precept of the Japanese tradition, women can not stay on the wheel, they are in charge of mixing colors, employed in much lower tasks such as using the molds.
Japan has changed Elisa a lot with so many personal implications she still keeping along her way. The test was hard, more than ever, both physically and psychologically, but it is from here she came back home with the utmost certainty of what she wanted to do in her life.
"Her creations, especially those people appreciate most, always start with something intimate and personal"
HOW DOES SHE GET INSIPIRATION IN HER WORK?
The highest form of inspiration to Elisa is travelling, both to regenerate herself and to realize new ideas. When it is not possible she simply takes total rest from ceramics, spending time with a friend or walking in the mountains with her dog Petra.
Elisa's ceramics style is easily recognizable among others for the imaginative and fresh decorative elements which recall dreamlike and symbolic worlds.
Elisa takes us to her intimate side. Her creations, filled with gorgeous polka dots, stripes and small houses made up for necklaces (which she loves so much) reflect Elisa's personality and feelings. For example, the first ceramic house came out from her personal need to finally have her own home, after having moved eleven times. Another item made from ceramic she really feels connected to is the hot-air balloon, a symbol of a great love that after several years ended up like a hot-air balloon lifted off.
The pottery is for many people a therapeutic activity. Elisa remembers when she began to make it how it was essential to carve out a space and a time for herself. Modelling clay is for Elisa a way to gain benefits for the soul: through this special material she is able to dispel the experiences both positive and negative. The clay has indeed exceptional properties, including the one to absorb the moods of the person who is working on it.
"Modelling clay is for Elisa a way to gain benefits for the soul: through this special material she is able to dispel the experiences both positive and negative"
HOW IMPORTANT IS TO COUNT ON SOMEBODY?
She feels very fortunate as she can count on someone who understands her needs and believe in herself. Among many remarkable people she met along her path, Elisa remembers her first teacher. A very hard person who saw in Elisa right away something different from a simple hobbyist. Despite her admiration for her teacher it was necessary to seek her own development. Elisa along the way has met people who in different ways helped her to inhance her past experiences. There is another person who has always believed in Elisa and is one of her two sisters; she is able to say the right thing at the right time and to be there in times of need.
WHICH DIFFICULTIES ELISA FACED IN HER WORK?
Elisa experienced many kind of difficulties. At the beginning she had to solve concrete problems, such as obtaining the necessary raw materials and to find the right space to work in. She got everything she needed little by little, according to her strenght. A winding pathway that begins with her first lathe purchased while still a student at the university. Elisa has also faced economic difficulties but also emotional, because there are those moments when one's may feels discouraged.
The emotional and sensitive sides of Elisa on one hand represent the tangible elements in her creations, on the other do not facilitate the concentration on her work. Being artisan and entrepreneur, as already pointed out in Grazia Isoardi'story, involves having a limited amount of time.
A precious resource that must be rationalized to the maximum both for the professional and the personal life. Elisa is very good at maximizing the time: to produce a ceramic bowl the average time is about 45 minutes. There are many steps to consider and in general Elisa's technique is very experimental and "unconventional": that's why it happens to make mistakes, but often the result is surprising and she is definetely proud to be guided by instinct.
"Elisa's technique is very experimental and unconventional: that's why it happens to make mistakes, but often the result is surprising and she is definetely proud to be guided by instinct"
AS A WOMAN?
Elisa tells about her partner who gives a huge support in domestic work. Their relationship is quite equal and generally they used to cooperate. However, domestic work still represents to Elisa an issue to keep in mind and to be organized, so that it's part of the whole working day. Speaking about being a potter Elisa tells us about the magical link between the woman and the clay. Men potters are many and certainly the physical strength can help them, as well as the courage while using fire or high voltage. But, according to Elisa, the acts of modelling and creating "objects that contain" refer to something intrinsically linked to being a woman.
WHAT DID ELISA DREAM WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD?
When Elisa was a child she already loved animals and dreamed of becoming a veterinary. Then. in her early teens she was very fascinated by the law and when it came to choose her university field she was not sure if choose the Academy of Fine Arts or Law. Eventually Elisa followed a different path from both choosing Science of Cultural Assets, where the study of History of Art gave her the sense of aesthetics that she applied with wisdom in her creations.
ARE WOMEN TODAY TRULY FREE TO CHOOSE THEIR DESTINY?
Compared to her peers and friends Elisa has to be considered an exception. Not many women she knows have taken over their lives. Often women give up with a job they do not like but they keep it because they need it or because they do not have the courage to change. Elisa from an early age knew that she would have done everything possible to not become a grown alienated from her work. An act of courage and responsibility is definitely to give it a try, at least once in a lifetime, trusting themselves. The failures can happen and perhaps also serve to gain experience.
At the family level the audacity gene is not lacking at all. The women in her family have been enterprising and bold, like her maternal grandmother who, for almost fifty years as a clothes retail merchants, managed an entrepreneurial activity with her sister. Elisa's mother was another example of tenacity and determination.
Elisa remembers when she was six her mother graduated in Psychotherapy at the University of Padua, a profession where at that time women were almost nonexistent.
The "networking" has an important role in artisanal and consulting professions. Being an artisan, in fact, means spending time alone, for example in the studio, but when one's is part of a network of other colleagues to refer to it may represents a good point. Elisa is part of a collective made by 12 artisans from Pinerolo town (Turin) who participate at the ambitious project called Ceramics: singular, feminine promoted by DonnArgilla, a collective of potters from all over Italy. By fundraising #adopt an exhibition their creations will be exposed in Rome in October 2016.
"An act of courage and responsibility is definitely to give it a try, at least once in a lifetime, trusting themselves"
DREAMS AND FUTURE PLANS?
Today Elisa describe herself as a serene person who realized her passion through craft business and she is also going to give birth to her baby soon. Elisa wishes to the up coming baby not to have to live the anxieties and pressures stemming from the surrounding world, some of which she lived, but to be able to find the own way, whatever it is.
Elisa will do anything to educate this new life to freedom of thought, and what better way to do that than through the journey! Elisa loves travelling so that her partner and she can not wait to plan their first trip in three!
ELISA SASSO IN BRIEF?
Eclectic, emotional and determined.