Sylva Ceramics

Image: Sylva Ceramics

This is Yanire from Sylva Ceramics. She creates beautiful ceramic pieces from her studio at Blackhorse Workshops in Walthamstow. Read on to find out what inspires her work and why she loves the Walthamstow creative community.

Please introduce yourself and tell us where you are from…

My name is Yanire Sylva Delgado, I am an artist and ceramic designer. I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador and moved to London in 2003. We moved to Walthamstow in 2009 and have a lovely Warner flat. My studio is in Blackhorse Workshop.

Tell us about your work…

I design and create practical, simple, bold and beautiful ceramics. I make cheeseboards, tea bowls, spoons, saucers and serving dishes along with wood and ceramic knives. I sell my ceramics under SylvaCeramics on Etsy, local markets, the William Morris Gallery and The Italian Delicatessen in Walthamstow.

Image: Sylva Ceramics

My pieces strive to express the beauty that comes from imperfect symmetry found in the natural world. For example, the beauty that comes about because humans are not geometrically perfect fascinates me. Traces left by my fingers as I work on these objects is something I like to preserve. In some of my work, I use embroidery to leave a trace — reminders of maternal and homemaking influences that I have grown up with. I conceive them as peaceful and balanced objects, values that I am drawn to. There is something very primitive about ceramics, the ability of creating utensils out of earth. It’s strong and poetic.

What are your favourite materials to work with?

I can say that my favourite activities are working with clay and drawing, therefore my favourite materials are earth and paper.

Image: Sylva Ceramics

Any future plans / projects you can talk to us about?

I am organising a series of practical workshops where learners can experience the clay and basic techniques of pottery. I am planning a keepsake workshop for parents and babies, a cactus pinch pot workshop and my favourite: how to make a ceramic saucepan lid.

You can book your place on the Cactus Pinch Pot workshop here.
It will take place over 2 Monday evenings on 20th & 27th of March from 7pm to 9pm and all are welcome.

To be the first to hear about future workshops, you can join the Sylva Ceramics Mailing List here.

Cactus Pinch Pots — Sylva Ceramics

Where and how did you learn your craft?

I’ve been working with clay since 2013. I registered at Leytonstone Learning Link and signed up to their pottery class because I was interested to experiment with this material. I am a printmaker and even though I did use clay for sculpture at University, I didn’t have the opportunity to learn the craft. I’ve since qualified in City & Guilds Pottery Levels 1 and 2, last year.

Image: Sylva Ceramics

Describe your workspace…

My studio is at Blackhorse Workshop, where I design, create and fire my ceramics. I’m surrounded by creative and down to earth people from East London. I share the floor with architects, carpenters and all types of designers, it’s very busy and full of energy. I have a great corner space which makes me feel cozy, allowing me to focus on my work.

We have an open plan studio so you have to like being with other people and sharing space — there’s a very strong sense of community here.

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from different sources, books, movies, people, music, food, dance, places and nature. 
Top of my list are: Frances Bacon, Giacometti, The Bauhaus, Frida Kahlo, Miro, Astor Piazzolla, Queen, Los Boleros, El Flamenco, La salsa, Bach, Mozart, Los 80', The Renaissance, Endara Crow, Oswaldo Guayasamin, Studio Ghibli, William Morris, Garcia Marquez, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Isabel Ayende, Julio Cortazar, The Habana — Cuba, Guayaquil, Carmen Martin Gaite, Elena Moya, Puerto Lopez, Marrakech, Rabat, Cordova, Cuenca, Dungeness, Deal, Madrid, London, Punta Carnero in Ecuador, Epping Forest and the artisan market in Manchester.

Image: Sylva Ceramics

What do you enjoy about working / living in Walthamstow?

Walthamstow is a village and it’s not a cliche, it’s a fact. We enjoy a buzzing community where creativity is on every corner and we embrace it. It’s wonderful to walk down the street and see familiar faces, stopping and having a chat, it makes you feel that you belong. We have access to a great number of events like the E17 Art Trail, the Garden Party, several exhibitions organised by the William Morris Gallery, etc. Also we have a good selection of cafes, restaurants and bars, a cinema and a farmers market. I enjoy that it’s all very handy, safe and close to home.

Describe your perfect Walthamstow day…

There are lots of perfect days in Walthamstow. It depends on the day of the week, what you want to do and with whom. But here is one of them… A summer weekend, having a late breakfast at one of the cafe’s at the Bell Corner and then cycling with my family and friends to the Marshes. We’ll have a picnic at Lea Valley and maybe do some kayaking too. Then cycle back home and go for a drink with friends at the Rose and Crown or The Bell, which are both close to my home.

Lea Valley
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