Ceramic and engraving

In-house talents
June 2020 -
01 05

#1

Joana Lacerda

Post-covid is driving us to rediscover colours and shapes and to awaken to things that unbelievably passed us by. One that we were missing is the ceramic and engraving works by Joana Lacerda, an architect at OPENBOOK. Not that Joana is exhibiting her work around the office, we were just not paying attention. Now that we are, we want to share Joana's work with you. Because it’s worth a look.
We also took the opportunity to ask her a few questions. Read the interview and get to know her better.
02 05

#2

OPENBOOK: When was this passion for engravings born?

Joana: My interest in engravings came about eight years ago in a somewhat spontaneous way. Without knowing anything about the various techniques, I arrived at Galeria Diferença expecting to do a workshop. But I quickly realized that engraving is too vast and interesting for just a few afternoons, so I decided to stay for 4 years.
I love every detail related to engraving techniques. Starting with the diversity of materials throughout the process, from the thinner, almost transparent sheet, to the thicker sheet that requires long seasons in the tank underwater. The matrixes can be as natural as wood, or as synthetic as linoleum. Just like tools, which can be almost precious stones or rudimentary gouges.
All processes involve time waiting and effort which turns the simpler and unpretentious engraving, in a special and rewarding object. The simple print that a metal plate leaves on the sheet could speak of an intention.

OPENBOOK: Did the engravings discover the ceramic, or was it the other way around?

Joana: Interest in ceramics came later, but somehow, I ended up introducing some engraving techniques. I guess drawing is the link between so different techniques.
Just like in the engraving, in ceramics, the final result is always a surprise. The feeling of seeing a batch and lifting the felts from the press is very similar. There is always some level of uncertainty and a lot of expectation. At least for me as a beginner, there are no equal pieces, which results in a much more exciting process, especially nowadays when everything is somehow formatted.

"Just like in the engraving, in ceramics, the final result is always a surprise."

03 05

#3

OPENBOOK: Who do you consider a reference in this area?

Joana: I really like the woodcuts by the Portuguese artist Alice Jorge (second picture), particularly the engravings made for several covers of Vértice magazine in the 50s. Works of great simplicity that live a lot of the purity of the silhouette design and the richness of the matrix. In this case, the wood also leaves its mark through its veins.
The matrixes of the works of Zarina Hashmi (first picture) are also made of wood. The artist that captures the vocabulary for his prints from architecture and urbanism. Having lived in several countries, her work explores and questions the meaning of the basic terms of architecture like 'house' and 'border'.
04 05

#4

Openbook: Architecture also draws influence from art. What do you find in common between architecture and art?

Joana: The elements studied by Zarini in her woodcuts, like walls, barriers, empty and full, work as instruments for Architecture. Altogether, they have an impact that goes beyond their functionality.
One of the main objectives of art, besides transmitting a message, is to communicate a feeling of well-being and belonging, just like architecture, whose main role should be to provide its user with a sense of harmony, joy and identity.
05 05

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image credits:
https://www.metmuseum.org/
https://www.cps.pt/