A different kind of spin class
Roberto Paparcone’s studio in Palma de Mallorca is a sanctuary. Step inside and life seems calmer. It’s hard to know exactly where this springs from – is it Paparcone`s almost yogi-like calmness or that using a potters wheel demands total focus? What is clear is that it’s something that his students love. “Once they are here they all switch off,” says Paparcone, whose own work carries his “Paparkone” brand stamp. He enjoys teaching – no more than four students at a time – and many of the attendees have become skilled artisans. Yet the majority are here for joy. “They are never looking at the clock,” he says. Most are in their thirties through to fifties – lecturers, landscape artists, designers; all united by the lure of hands on clay.
Paparcone understands his students because their story is his story. His training as architect took him from his home near Naples to Delft, Rotterdam and San Sebastián. Then in 1998, aged 27, he headed to Milan – his first job was designing a cemetery. The grey skies were too much and by the mid-2000s he was using to be director of a leading interior design business in barcelona. His partner bought him a course with Misako Homma, a potter in the city, and his life began to change. He was enraptured. He set up a studio in Mallorca. Commissions came. personal renewal too. “I just never stopped,” he says. “When you find something you like, it’s easy to learn. It’s amazing.”
Text: Andrew Tuck
Image Credit: Ben Roberts