“THE SMELL OF A CAMP FIRE, YES THAT’S IT”
Think grace, movement, romance. Carmen embraces life from her inner gift to shape movement. After her experience at P.A.R.T.S, the highly praised dance studio of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Carmen explored the field of choreography. She feels driven by dance, but even more culture in the broad sense. This is where she finds inspiration, connection and beauty.
In 2016 she decided to start at the Academy of Berchem as an apprentice in ceramic arts. Mother since two years of a beautiful daughter named Cézanne, her driving source of inspiration. Carmen had to source deeply after having lost her Brother in a horrible bike accident.
Today, she’s dedicated to create collections for hospitality projects and private clients. Her work was discovered by Belgian architect Nathalie Van Reeth, to style the BULO stand with her ceramics, during the Salone del Mobile in 2019. Since then, she's moving ahead with projects for Antwerp based hot spots like LEWIS and BUTCHERS COFFEE. She crafted a ceramic lamp in collab with Hija Studio for the Ghent based concept store BILLY ROSE. Most of her time now is dedicated to new collections she sells through her webshop www.carmenrafaelle.com.
We met Carmen in her atelier, the place where the magic happens.
Word chosen by Carmen : FAMILY
1/ The last time you used / heard / experienced this word?
One of my last spontaneous visit to my grand mother. To feel her during a very short instant, where I felt fully connected to her energetic being : humble, serene, relaxed, sitting in her throne, with no pressure of time and space, drinking a beer, watching television in this warm comfy living space, with no yes or no...just the two of us. Sharing stories about life, stories I've never heard before. A life moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. Complete proximity in full simplicity.
2/ What is the inherent emotion you feel in this word?
A nest, or nostalgic experience of feeling at “home”. I remember the place of my aunt, where all family members joined for a quality dinner time, just to mark a moment of “togetherness”.
3/ Which object / shape do you see in this word?
“Really an object?” … Well I would rather connect it to something warm, like fire, where you feel connected. The smell of a camp fire. Yes, that’s it.
4/ How is this word related to you / your work?
The way how “family” relates to my work is more a feeling of confirmation, a witness of my realisation, a direct voice of appreciation or critique, because I know that this voice will be pure. Not only as a safe feeling, but also as a motivator to push my limits. Family as a critical radar of my work.
5/ Which material would you associate with this word?
A natural material. Or better, I think about the spirit of a forest, where you can find a lot of wood on a large scale. A field where life keeps on growing, where time affects it’s shape or texture, throughout the seasons and forever. Starting from something small, a seed, with deep roots, within an evolutive cycle, but always staying together.
6/ Thinking about cork, can you imagine an object linked to this word?
Cork connected to natural light, always coming back and forth. Like a lamp in several shapes and formats. Or even better associated to fire … So let’s say a candleholder.
7/ Which word / value / quote is omnipresent in your life ... to pass on.