I met Julieta Alvarez in Madrid, in her atelier; there were pieces from her collections everywhere, a lot of work and inspiration! And we have the opportunity to see her work this weekend in Barcelona!!
After observing your jewellery pieces and your personal background, lots of questions come up to me… is there anything that attracts you to ceramic and jewellery world that doesn’t appear in fashion design?
Ceramics imposes its own times; it somehow forces you to be patient, waiting for the pieces to be dried, for kiln to be cold… However, everything related to fashion design is meant to be ready for yesterday, meaning it’s stunningly fast. My experience related to ceramics creative process is far more personal and I can continue updating and changing a piece even if it’s already marketed or distributed, it can keep evolving.
What’s in fashion design that you don’t like and made you leave?
I like Fashion more and more, however, it’s true, I find dedicating myself to textile design extremely complex… I guess …due to its intensive schedules
You studied working with other materials such as wood or plastic before working with white clay?
While I was coursing my Master studies at IED some years ago, we worked with hydraulic tiles, vinyls and paper. Now, I’m thinking about how I can apply some of the techniques used with these materials to ceramics. At Mad is Mad exhibition, my brand starting point, I first worked with red clay which was highly intuitive, I may use it again. After that, I moved to white clay which was optimal to what I was looking for at that time.
Which colour represents you? Does every colour have a story and a cause behind it?
I love this question! Some time ago I would have answered dark blue, petrol blue almost black, I love that tone. Now I feel it’s changing, it’s funny… but I would say I rather identify myself with a pastel pink, nothing to do…
Way more than just a story, colours generate experiences, emotions; working with colour is intuitive, I would say that it’s the thing I like most doing.
Could you tell us any secret about your next collection?
Colourful, marine elements and monsters.
Where do the names of your collections come from?
Cosmos and universe is something that fascinates me, it’s a huge source of ideas. For instance, Cuerpo Celeste is a concept that I love, that was the name for Ángel Schlesser’s collection..
You have worked with Angel Schlesser, now you are making a collaboration work with Alma Alguilar, how is working with other designers?
It’s really interesting; it varies significantly from one designer to another. Working with Ángel was about adapting my collection to his own collection through colour and little shape variations. Working with Alma is totally different, it’s about designing little pieces like buttons and beads exclusively for piece of clothing for a specific customer.
Who would you choose to work with?
If I can dream about it I’d love working with David Lynch or Alexander Calder, Martin Margiela, Delfina Deletrez...
Right now you have a small team that helps you with all the work at your brand, how was at the beginning? I guess you started it all by yourself.
Yes, I was alone at the beginning, I run with all the duties from designing pieces, making bills, buying materials… Now, we are a little team but highly productive. It’s amazing all you can achieve just by working on a team.
Do you lean on your team?
Of course, it’s been a short time since they are working with me, however, they became essential for me.
You teach at IED, what do you like about teaching? Is it hard?
Teaching always means studying and doing research.
What do you learn from your students?
They are always asking, they’re anxious about knowing more and more, fortunately that is contagious.
Do you think that without your communication agency it would have been harder getting to where you are established right now?
Yes, the investment Lycland made on my project was indispensable.
Do you do well at selling your pieces in trade fairs? Do you like dealing with major buyers?
I like it, but there’re a lot of things that I still have to learn in that way. Now, I understand why there are people who exclusively work on it.
And what about dealing with public in design markets such as Central del Diseño? Has it taught you anything?
Design Markets like Mercado Central de Diseño are a high volume of people buzzing around, possible future collaborations, new projects, new ideas…
If you could have an entire space for you to make a Solo Exhibition, how would it be?
There are some spaces I like in Madrid, like La new Gallery or Espacio Valverde, and of course, any commissioned by MDBY.
You care about your corporate image, you have fantastic pictures of your pieces travelling through the net, and working with a team… do you manage the stage and the final image you want to transmit?
Yes, since the beginning I thought it was extremely important; this is what leads you to reach your goals. J.A. brought me the opportunity of working with amazing photographs like David Díez, Rocío Montoya or José Señorán.
Next step, maybe to design your own packaging?
Right now I’m designing new home objects and dishes, unique pieces too. We’ll soon open a section in our online store called “Unique” for unique pieces.
Do you like doing this kind of interviews?
Yes, it helps me to make a pause and think about what’s going on and what I want to lead my next steps.
Which is your favourite own design by now?
One I’m currently making, it’s only ideas and some tests on clay. Hope I can show it as soon as possible.
Which one is your best seller?
Needless to say, the bicolour small ball with the turquoise blue one, it’s by far the best seller.
Which is the toughest aspect of your work? And the one you like the most?
The economic management is the toughest part of it.
Developing new products is what I like the most.
Which will be your ideal order?
I love this interview, hahaha. My ideal order might well be a large format sculpture, a totem made with pieces that move and twist with several speeds, I’ve been thinking about it for a while…
Would you change any of your professional past career if you could?
Professionally… I don’t know. However I would have dedicated much more time to my languages studies.
Is there anything you would repeat even if it’s crazy, just because of the experience?
Quitting some jobs, maybe at that time I didn’t have any extra income, but lots of opportunities quickly arose and lead me to a whole new world.