⟨ Craft ⟩

We sail through life, dailiness as our anchor.

hyt ceramics

Words / Jas Tse
Photography / hyt ceramics
Translation / Nicole Go

覺得美,跟喜歡,是不同的事吧?
如果真正是你的東西,應該包含著心動吧。

盤子的顆粒質感,看到會想吃乾身的伯爵茶曲奇。厚厚的泥土啡,上面有白色的像雲也像山的圓,就這樣看著它們,食慾不自覺跑了出來。

製作這些食器的亨利,本業是一位甜點主廚,曾在台北經營第一家店「河床」、然後回到台南開了「海丘」、現在的「沼澤」是第三家店,在台南一棟老房子裡。有沒有發現名字裡的線索,一直在水裡滋長,慢慢流到現在一片綠裡。

Seeing an object as beautiful and adoring an object – those are two different things, right?

To own an object, in particular, should be a moving experience.

A small dish with a grainy, sandy-eggshell texture akin to an earl grey cookie; slabs of brown clay dotted by clouds, or mountains, spurring memories of a taste of food that melts in one’s mouth…

These are but some examples of the craft of ceramicist Henri, who makes tableware inspired by, and in turn inspires, her work as a pastry chef. Following Rivière, her first pâtisserie in Taipei, Henri has moved to Tainan to open Seaknoll and her latest project, Marsh. Nestled in a historic building, Marsh fulfills the natural imagery at the heart of the pâtisseries’ monikers – one which, nurtured by water, trickles into pastures new.

「沼澤是一片靜止的水,沒有絢麗的景色,卻滋養了很多生命。比起以往的創作這裡會更加的樸實,也會加入更多我生活中的喜好,希望這裡也能成為你們日常的一部分。」這裡有甜點、盛載甜點的器皿、室內的牆壁地磚有各種柔柔軟軟的綠、色塊與線條是圓弧的。

她造的看起來像食物,她卻覺得自己做的甜點很像陶瓷雕塑。「我是先習陶才學甜點的,後來甜點工作做得多,塔皮操作需要更溫柔小心翼翼的,回歸做陶桿土的時候,意外得心應手。抹蛋糕也很像在拉胚啊。都是在轉盤上操作。」

“A marsh is an area of low-lying land which is waterlogged. Static and unassuming, it nurtures various forms of life. With a few more personal touches, I hope my latest project reflects this spirit and becomes part of your everyday life.” And it does – with desserts and their vessels galore, decorative tiles softened by green and curves.

Whilst Henri’s ceramic sculptures resemble her pastries, she believes the reverse is true. “I started off as a ceramicist, before stepping into the new challenge of baking. Much of making pastries is learning sequences: how to hold and shape pastry shells, how much pressure to apply between one’s fingers and thumbs, and so on. Making pottery is very much the same, so it got easier when I returned to the craft. There are many similarities between coating a cake and throwing a clay, both of which are done a wheel.”

日常默默地相似,如果現在回看環繞身邊的一切,將抽屜一格格打開,裡面裝滿了的、滋養著自己的是什麼?「我覺得是任何生活裡的小事。我好像不是個個性很強烈的人。但這好像也就是我的特質,喜歡柔軟簡單有通融性的。不是那麼突出卻是可以伴隨自己很久的時間的。」亨利曾形容自己想造的甜點是每天都會想吃的那種;喜歡的花藝是每天起床都想在床頭看見的。

「我很習慣早起,但不是因為需要很早上班。而是我喜歡在眼睛睜開與上班之間留給自己一些空閒。鬧鐘響後曬曬太陽聽聽音樂賴個床再離開床鋪,為自己手沖杯咖啡,聽著水沸騰、磨豆機的聲音,豆子在房間擴散出來的香氣。」大概是這些間隙裡的餘裕,組成了喜歡的生活模樣。像造陶時先搓泥,裡面空氣太多,便用手一個個把它揉出來,反覆幾遍便會柔軟,那個形狀也像海浪。

這種日常,累積起來,大概便能成為一個人自在來去的錨吧。

As the two crafts coincide, if one were to tap into their repository, what would they find to be continuously soul enriching? “I think it’s every little thing in life. I’m not vehement in my ways – this seems to be my defining attribute. Rather, I prefer the soft, the simple and the compatible – that which blends in and stays with me for a long time.” Henri says she wants to specialise in the kind of pastries that she would enjoy every single day without fail. Naturally, her favourite floral arrangement is the kind she would love to wake up to, first thing in the morning.

“I’m a morning person, but that’s not because of work. I just love the stretches of space between waking and going to work – to immerse myself idly in the first light and music, as the alarm goes off. Then I would make myself a pour over coffee and listen to the whistle of boiling water, the low humming of the grinder – aromas wafting from the room.” Intervals as such become the fabric of a way of life, not dissimilar to the beloved art of ceramics: the coaxing and throwing of clay in rhythmic motion to force out any air bubbles. Weathered and softened, the spiral wedged lump takes on the shape of a wave.

We sail through life, dailiness as our anchor.