We are proud to showcase Cape Town Ceramicist, Lucie de Moyencourt's hand-formed wall shell collection, Shell La Vie - the new collection has just launched from mini to maxi sizes, all hand-painted by Lucie to create one-off pieces to collect and treasure - to celebrate the 'new wave' we took some time out with Lucie this month to ask her about her inspiration and favourite fellow creatives...
Tell us a bit about how you became an artist?
I became an artist via architecture, I studied a full architecture degree and masters and worked as an architect and set designer for the film industry for many years before the art making took over.
But also I feel like I have been an artist my whole life, I’ve been practising my painting since I could hold a brush and it just took over everything else.
What drew you to ceramics as a medium?
I took a ceramics class with my friend Michael Chandler for a few months at Wendy Coleman’s studio. It was such fun, I’ve never looked back. I love the physical making of ceramics.
How did you Shell La Vie collection evolve?
Shelllavie just appeared sort of as a joke. Shellegance, shellebrate, shelllavie, Mermaid in China ( another one of my favorites!) I keep a list of fantastic shell related hashtags. Most of them are crowd sourced.
What inspires you creatively?
Walking on the beach, collecting sea shells, sorry this is such an obvious one but true!
Which are your favourite beaches in Cape Town?
Bakoven beach and Clifton 4 for swimming
What are you proudest of as an artist?
I’m very proud of my beautiful studio where I get to work everyday in Cape Town.
What does a typical day look like for you in the studio?
My days are not typical at all! I try all day to get into my studio while dealing with two young babies. I’m lucky to get longer sessions when we have a nanny. I often only get to work after 7pm when everyone is sleeping, unfortunately I usually also want to sleep! When I do get to work I’m in a manic fast forward pace of painting!
Which other ceramicists do you admire?
How do you envisage your pieces being used/displayed in people’s homes when you are creating them?
My shell plates are meant for wall display, each one comes fitted with a custom brass wire hanging device so you can hang them straight onto a wall.
Each shell is uniquely cut, and shaped and painted and are most often too wonky to use as a functional plate. The shells look great in infinite combinations, you can hang one shell above a door, or in a bathroom or courtyard, or organically keep building and adding new shells as you collect over time.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on creating some large-scale, custom-shaped tiles that make up bigger shells and Venuses.
What are the finishing touches that you feel make a house a home?
A house becomes a home when it is personal. I love mixing my few bits and bobs from my family with stuff from the flea market and regular shop-bought pieces. It’s the collecting over time that makes a home homely for me. We have been collecting green jadeite for the kitchen for years, it’s such a thrill when we find new pieces.
Describe your own interiors style
Eclectic! We love this and that and mixing and matching! With quite a lot of space age and grannyish pieces! My dad has an antique shop in Cape Town and we get a lot of things from him! I’m very lucky to have first dibs on what my dad finds! (@haute_antiques
Which items in your home do you treasure?
My jadeite collection and a small illustration by Sempe; my favorite French illustrator.
What do you think are the synergies between your work and Hadeda?
Hadeda is a collection of handpicked, handmade pieces from Africa, I am lucky to be part of the collective!
Which are your 3 favourite Hadeda pieces?
Everything made of Malawi cane! Everything!
Shop the new summer Shell La Vie collection from Lucie here