My name is Olivia León, I am an industrial designer and my passion is pottery. Olivia Cerámica is the result of the path that I have traveled to know and enjoy this beautiful occupation; this is my story.
My love for ceramics began when I did my social service in Oaxaca, where I learned among artisans. I went from community to community experimenting different techniques and processes, after that I returned to Mexico City to finish my degree, but my heart always stayed in Oaxaca. It was 6 years ago when I decided to set up my own workshop, and since then I haven´t stopped working at all. Everything started as a hobby, I made pieces and gave them away as presents, but then, people started looking for me and asking for more of my creations, so that’s when I decided to do my own business; if at that time I had been told what my hobby would become, I definitely would not have believed it. Many often we stop doing things for fear or uncertainty, but if we are constant and truly enjoy what we are doing then people will notice it.
Over time I have learned to “dominate” the technique, but I still have much more to acquire, the desire to continue learning is what has opened the path for me. I have always been very proud of my country, my goal since the beginning was to promote Mexican culture through contemporary pottery, creating objects that we use on a daily basis with more environmentally friendly materials. All of the enamels I use are plumb free and nontoxic. I work with traditional methods, so it takes me a week and a half to make 1 piece, and sometimes it is difficult for people to understand this. We are used to things being done fast, ceramics set its own rhythm, and I have learned to respect this and carry it as a way of life. The processes that I enjoy the most are manual construction techniques, so when my hands are creating, my mind is turned off and I am immersed in the present; I suffer from anxiety and depression, so ceramics have become my therapy. Even if it were not profitable, I would continue doing it.
Olivia Cerámica is available in several stores through Mexico, mainly in Mexico City and Baja California. Museo Amparo, Hotel Condesa DF and Querencia Mx are some of the spots where you can find our products and we also send pieces abroad.
Photos by Alexandra González