The way Freya Bramble-Carter and Pallas Kalamotusis make their art echoes everything you’d expect of a true friendship. Their process is spontaneous, instinctive, natural, energetic – a firing pot of fun ideas, a space to share freely. No judgment, sheer support.
The artistic duo’s shapely vessels are formed by teacher of clay Freya (who began mastering her craft with miniature palms thanks to her ceramicist father Chris Bramble). Then each one is joyfully hand-painted by Pallas, interior designer and founder of Studio Krokalia.
As each pot is moulded and fired, the bond between the two strengthens. Constantly learning, laughing, expressing. And isn’t that what friendship – and art – is all about? We caught up with the pair to talk about their meeting of minds, hands and hearts.
Pallas on collaboration and beginnings
“Our collaboration happened organically. I came to Freya’s studio sessions as a total beginner. I was quite quiet in the beginning just doing my own thing, trying to get a handle on the clay. Freya was amazing because she was always there to teach me, but also nurtured my freedom of expression.”
“Once I started to find my own style, Freya was like: “Oh, I like the way you paint those pots, do you want to paint one of mine?” Honestly I thought she was joking because her pieces are so special and beautiful, and I was like a child with a paintbrush. I did one and we really liked it. Then we did another one, and so the collaboration was born!”
Freya on clay as a medium
“I've chosen to work with clay because I really like what it offers in terms of learning about oneself. It serves a really good purpose. I mould forms, ideas and dreams into the clay. My work looks like vases and sculptural forms that might be functional or not. Quite often I don't really care about that, I just enjoy making and try not to think too much about it.”
“I smash things regularly! Usually I’d say unintentionally, but I'm smashing things on purpose all the time as well – it's definitely just part of the practice. Building up, breaking down. You have to be okay with that when you do this otherwise you'll just cry all the time!”
Freya on art and inspiration
“Art is to express what you want to say in your own way and respect it for its freedom. It’s there for us all, for us to express our emotions, it's like the creative juice squeezed out of society. Some people make art for others, some people make art for themselves. I think art is a broad term for something that you refine, in a way that's almost unrefined. It's your creation, it's whatever you want it to be. There's no rules. It's just up to you, everything is up to you.”
“I’m inspired by love, nature, excitement for positive change and imagination. I'm interested in femininity, masculinity and sexuality, with the formation and curves. Sensuality as well as some cultural references.”
Pallas on their artistic process
“We try to enjoy ourselves and create fun, beautiful objects along the way. We’re very respectful of the other person’s creative spirit and trust each other’s ideas. That's the best way to collaborate, the relationship is the most important thing.”
“Sometimes we plan in advance. We look at the designs and shapes of the vessels which Freya has made, or planning to make, and we think about how to bring together a collection of four or five pieces so that each piece has its own individual nature but also fits together well.”
“Then we discuss the way I could put the patterns on them. Most of the time they end up totally different. It's like we make a plan and deviate from it so that what comes out at the end is the best version of everything.”
The pair on life learnings through being an artist
Freya: “To be non-judgmental and courageous with and in my life. Learn how the world works. Learn how you and I work. Learn how to be in the best way. Life is what you make of it.”
Pallas: “That we are strong-willed and listening to our gut instinct is the right way… always! I’ve also learnt that it doesn't matter what you learn because the next day is going to be completely different anyway.”
The pair on putting pen to paper
Pallas: “Freya uses sketchbooks all the time. They are overflowing with her ideas, most of which come to life at some point (even years later!). I’m the one that uses notebooks, managing our to-do lists so we don’t fall behind and have some resemblance of a schedule!”
Freya: “It's really good for me to have sketchbooks all in one place. Sometimes I hang big sheets up on the wall to draw on or squiggle on a piece of wood, but sketchbooks are my favourite.”