Balbina Fullana

“I’ve always trusted my intuition”

The influence of her parents (“my father worked in the family carpenter’s shop and my mother took up pottery and did all kinds of handicrafts using recycled objects at home”) helped Balbina (Mallorca, 1983) to appreciate simple, handmade items. Values that are now reflected in her delicate, original clay pieces.

“I remember that when I was in kindergarten, I loved playing with plasticine. My parents were always certain that the best path for me was something related to art. So when I was 11, they signed me up for drawing classes with the artist Teresa Matas. I loved drawing with charcoals and painting with watercolours there. To the point that a few years later, I decorated my room with a mural of an Aztec god. When my friends came round and saw the mural, they were amazed and they would ask, do your parents let you paint on the walls?” ceramicist Balbina recalls, in her home in Lloseta.

After leaving school, Balbina studied Fine Arts in Barcelona. “It’s curious, but during my degree I wasn’t interested in ceramics and painting: they were very slow processes and back then I needed immediacy, I needed to get very quick inputs”. On finishing her degree course, “I was seized by that fear of thinking, now what do I do with my life? In the end I decided to carry on studying, with a master’s degree in audiovisuals, and I also worked as an advisor at the Miró Foundation”, she says.

Shortly afterwards she returned to Mallorca. On her native island, she opened a multidisciplinary design studio with her former partner. “He was in charge of the interior design and I did the graphic design and the website. We created a project for an online Nordic furniture store. I acted as intermediary, and I used to go to the shows in Milan and Paris, to buy whatever fitted in with my proposal”. But she soon realised that in this project “everything I did was focussed on sales, I wasn’t doing anything creative, so I closed it down”.

One day, at her mother’s house, she sat down at her potter’s wheel. “After trying it, I wanted to take it home with me”. Other than at university, Balbina never attended pottery classes: “I’ve managed to learn on my own, I’ve always trusted my intuition”. Today, she runs her own company, BAL LAB, “a creative laboratory where I work with my own hands, combining my three great passions: art, design and photography. My work is slow and minimalist, associated at all times to a more sustainable, local lifestyle”.

When she works with clay, Balbina says the constant sound of the potter’s wheel immerses her in a state of total disconnection. “I focus on the piece and I don’t care what might have happened to me during the day. Touching your work with your hands is a very pleasant sensation, it’s very different to sitting in front of a computer all day. I feel peace, tranquillity and concentration”.

For Balbina “life is a path. It is all we have, and the most beautiful thing we have, which is why we have to [...]


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