“Create things you love and people can tell”
Posted on June 14 2018
Brand: Piton Pottery
Behind the Brand: Coral Patola
“Create things you love and people can tell.” The wise words of Coral Patola, the artist behind Vancouver-based ceramics brand Piton Pottery, perfectly describe the message behind the ceramics she lovingly creates. Each piece is a unique manifestation of her devotion to her craft combined with her connection to nature, reminding us that even our day-to-day tools can be created with meaning.
KM spends a sunny summer afternoon being enlightened by Coral’s refreshing approach of not overthinking your path.
KM: What was your path to Piton Pottery like?
CP: Growing up, I was always drawing, painting and was never super serious. I liked working with my hands and being dirty. I went to an art-focused high school and didn’t really think that I would be pursuing any post-secondary education and when I found myself in university straight out of high school, I didn’t really know why I was there. Luckily, my first instructors were amazing people and were huge influences on me. Technically, they taught me a lot, but more importantly I got to see how far you can go as a working artist and how rewarding it can be.
After I graduated, I knew I wanted to keep doing ceramics; I wanted to keep going. I had a drive to push to be technically and visually better, bought a kiln and a kickwheel, and have just kept on going. I’ve never thought about it that hard, I just did, and stumbled onto my life path. This is what I want to do and what gets me stoked so I keep going.
KM: Tell us about your designs.
CP: Growing up, it was really important for my family to see other cultures and places. I’ve travelled internationally my whole life, seeing all these amazing cultures and loving their art, but I’ve found that home resonantes the most. I have such a strong physical connection to Vancouver and to Canadian and First Nations art. I am drawn to the sweet essence of the city, the great community of outdoorsy people, and my earlier works were strongly inspired by Vancouver.
A trip to Bishop, California also shaped my designs. It reminded me that I want to understand the environment and experience it myself. After the trip to Bishop, I was restoked on an aesthetic that is very west coast and connected to camping, the thing that started the business in the first place.
KM: Piton is a very unique name. How did you come up with it?
CP: One day I was out trail running, thinking about selling my work and starting a business, and I started brainstorming for names and settled on Piton. It is a climbing term, a word that you will simply accept as a word, something you don’t need to spend a lot of time on. Climbing and pottery are what I love and wanted to combine them.
When I think of Piton, I think of enjoying life and the simple parts: being outdoors, fuzzy feelings, beauty in the home and that beauty not having to be refined.
KM: Describe your pieces.
CP: My work really showcases me and my style. My style of illustration and aesthetic is very Canadian and very pacific northwest. I want to create pieces that have a great feeling and essence and can fit in a cabin as well as it fits in the home.
KM: What are you passionate about?
CP: Pottery, climbing and enjoying life. I want joy and beauty and nature. My dream is to have a life where I’m self sustainable and live with respect for environment: a wholesome life.
KM: What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
CP: Being a surf bum, climbing and enjoying the outside.
KM: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
CP: When I was a kid I named everything Coral. All my dolls and toys were named Coral!
KM : Who is your favourite artist? Why?
CP: Jeong Kwan – a Buddhist monk and chef. She has such a beautiful way of talking about cooking that makes me want to do things. I consider her an artist.