Urban x Creatives

Numa Maurette, Barcelona

To me, inspiration, is a synonym for tranquility. Therefore, I am inspired when I’m surrounded by nature or when traveling for pleasure.

Argentinian born Numa Maurette is the man behind Pompilio Plants and his ceramic creations can be seen in the various galleries and design stores of Barcelona. With his current range of designer pots, or Pompilios, Numa has given his own unique twist by giving each one its own unique personality. We spoke to Numa to find out more about his work, inspiration and what the future holds for his much-loved Pompilios.

Hi Numa, thanks for taking time to share with us your Urban Tale…

You’re originally from Buenos Aires, what was it like growing up in Argentina and how did this experience influence your creativity?
I was born and raised in Bragado, a village in the province of Buenos Aires, where I was raised surrounded by nature. My parents taught me to observe nature and feel its beauty, passing on their love for artisanal craft and their admiration for the primitive art of Latin American culture.

How did you develop your love for ceramics? Looking back, would you say there was a defining moment?
My love for ceramics is born out of my admiration of plants, I’ve always liked to observe and take care of them. For that reason, I decided that my work had to be manual and with noble materials. Ceramics gives me the opportunity to do this and also enables me to connect with myself.

How did your Pompilio Plants adventure start?
My adventure with Pompilio Plants started after I had completed a botanic course at the Faculty of Agronomy, Bueno Aires. One day I thought, how can it be that in this city there are thousands and thousands of balconies with such beautiful plants and yet their pots are made of plastic and so ugly, made with no love at all? At that moment I decided to make ceramic pots with faces, as a way to give life and personality to the pots – as well as the plants within them. Soon after I had brought my idea to reality, I also started teaching ceramics classes. This was something I had always wanted to do but always postponed.

What brought you to Barcelona and how long have you’ve been living here now?
When I finished High School at 18 years old, I didn’t know what I wanted to study. Barcelona has always had my attention so I just decided to go – that’s how I arrived here for the first time in 2007. In 2012 I had to return to Argentina due to family matters but since late last year I’ve relocated to Barcelona.

Has the city and its urban environment influenced your work?
Barcelona has influenced my work, but I believe that my youth and the last three years spent in Argentina; one in my hometown and two in Buenos Aires, have been more important to the creation of Pompilio Plants. Barcelona is the city I have decided to currently settle in and is the city that has given me the opportunity to develop the project.

Where do you find your inspiration?
To me, inspiration, is a synonym for tranquility. Therefore, I am inspired when I’m surrounded by nature or when traveling for pleasure.

Can you describe the creative process when creating a new Pompilio, do you work from sketches for example?
My creative process starts with the essence of and the different personalities of every Pompilio. No matter how many pots I make, when I add the nose it’s unique personality starts appearing. The final personality also depends on where I position the eyes and mouth, which really bring the pot to life. Finally, the colouring and the hair – which is the potted plant, end up defining the personality. Usually, I don’t make use of sketches, the personality really comes to life in my imagination and are created directly by means of my hands and clay.

What aspect do you most love about your work and what aspect do you like the least?
What I like most about my work is the freedom I feel, being my own boss allows me to bring to life all the ideas I come up with. What I like the least are the difficulties caused by the conditions that are in place when you want to work autonomously in Spain. As an artist, craftsman or designer in Spain you receive no support from the state, on the contrary – at times this leaves us having to navigate difficult economic climates.

Your work can be found in some very cool design stores and galleries through old Barcelona. Can you tell us more about the commercial aspect of your work and how you promote your products?
The commercial aspect I’m learning on the go, as it is not something that necessarily comes easily to me. Fortunately, my retailers tell me how much the customers like the product and it is going well. However, I know that there is still a lot to learn and improve.

What future aspirations do you have for Pompilio Plants?
Pompilio will grow and as it does new creations and products will be added. At the moment I’m already planning to add some new things next year.

Aside from ceramics, is there anything else creative that you spend time on?
I’ve always liked photography and taking pictures, however nowadays I don’t have a lot of free time to practice this.

Do you have an ultimate tip for all creatives out there that would love to turn their craft into a job?
I don’t know if it is really advice or not, but living off doing what you love is incredibly satisfying and beneficial to one’s health, both mentally and physically. It just takes a little bit of courage to forget the fears and obstacles and take a leap of faith to find happiness!

The UT final five…

Favourite plant?
The Hawortia Fasciata, also called the Zebra Plant.

Favourite album?
At present, Amansara by Chancha vía Circuito.

Most admirable artist/creative?
My favourite artist is my friend, Yago Hortal.

Best coffee spot in town?
Espai Joliu in Poblenou.

Ultimate insiders tip to Barcelona?
I recommend the pastries of La Mona Pastissos in El Born.

http://www.pompilioplants.com/
https://www.instagram.com/pompilioplants/

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