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Road to Recovery

March 26, 2024|BORJA MORONTA

Ceramicist Borja Moronta discovered his passion for pottery whilst recovering from surgery, and his pieces reflect the restorative powers of the ceramics process

Originally from Asturias in northern Spain, Borja graduated as an architect before moving to Edinburgh. In 2018, Borja began to practice pottery as part of his recovery after surgery on his left hand. Beginning his output with smaller plates and dishes inspired by meal times growing up in Spain, Borja is conscious of the wider place that ceramics have in everyday life. He quickly fell in love with the process.

Borja Moronta uses his hands to gesticulate in a potter's studio in Edinburgh
Borja Moronta hand crafted bowls in Edinburgh

‘I make ceramics that are a reflection of the states of mind I experience while working with clay and its physical processes: from the mindfulness of throwing to the physicality of preparing clay or the natural, slow pace behind the steps that clay follows to become a ceramic piece’

Borja enjoys the meditative quality of forming simple shapes with his hands, which is reflected in his pieces. 

Borja Moronta inside his Edinburgh studio

‘I can spend hours on the wheel without realising that time has gone by. I like my work to transmit this, to talk to people.’

From his background in architecture school, Borja applies a practical approach to his designs, which also informs his simple and minimal style.

Borja Moronta needs clay
Borja Moronta works on his potters wheel

‘I like to look at an object and feel calm. I think a lot about how I would use it and what I would use it for. Why a mug is a mug. What sort of mind state might you experience when drinking out of a mug.’

Borja acknowledges that his work may seem to reflect the muted tones of the Scottish landscape. However, he feels that his ceramics are shaped by his own experience of settling in Scotland.

Borja Moronta works on the potters wheel in Edinburgh

‘If you look at the Scottish landscape, the colours are quite muted, and people tend to feel that maybe my work is linked to the landscape. I like to think that it’s more of a direct connection with the way that I feel living here. This is a place where I feel comfortable and welcome. All those feelings get reflected in my work.’

Borja has been conversing about material and form while working with clay since his recovery. He is constantly drawn back to the wheel, and his pieces have a personality in contrast to their simple aesthetic. An intensity of purpose lies just behind the surface, a desire to heal and find a way forward. 

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