Rosa Malva: Spreading Love Through Ceramics

Rosa Malva: a project to live and fall in love with. In this interview get to Meet the Maker behind the brand, Portuguese sculptress Mané Pupo, and how she recovers history and everyday stories in ceramic figurines full of tenderness, memory and movement so that what really matters - Love and Joy - are celebrated time and time again anytime and anywhere.

How did the idea for Rosa Malva came to life?

Rosa Malva was born in a very organic way, following the economic crisis of 2008. My job as a visual artist wasn’t yielding enough because it was very difficult to do profitable exhibitions. So, as many artists in Portugal, I decided to rescale my works and transform them is small objects accessible to the majority of the public, which allowed me to earn some money to survive that time. A few years later, I started reproducing them and working with resale and that was how Rosa Malva was born.

Where do you get your inspiration to create your pieces?

My inspiration is my own life, my dreams, my family and the values of friendship, caring and love that I grew up with and that my parents taught me. Rosa Malva is an autobiographic brand.

Do you think that saying that Rosa Malva’s main goal is to present people with emotions?

Absolutely yes! My mission is present in the sentence that I insist in sharing in all ways possible: Rosa Malva recovers history and the everyday stories in objects filled with tenderness, memory and movement regarding what really is important; Love and joy being celebrated time and time again, in any place and in any given time.

Tell us a little bit about your creative process.

I always have in my mind several images. They are memories of the body and of the heart, are wishes, dreams and even fears. Every now and then, I invite one of those images to jump to my hands and a new piece of the Rosa Malva collection is born.
There are no previous designs, sketches or free drawings. My hands make the interpretation of tat piece of me, directly in the clay and that tiny piece of me is going to be shared with other people.
Until the product is finally ready, it goes from hand to hand that treat them with all the dedication so that each one is full of caring and can fulfill its function – celebrating joy and love.

How does an idea go from your head to an actual piece?

Obviously, during the process there are technical considerations that need to be taken into consideration so that the following steps are feasible. When the prototype is finishes, I have a meeting with the modeler, who is going to produce the first model so we can evaluate the details we need to trim.
After that, we make a few models to begin production, since we only take about three pieces per day and the models itself, being made in plaster, wear off with time and new ones must be made.
Each model is filled with ceramics liquid paste and after a few hours, we open it, and the piece needs to clean with a tiny knife and a wet sponge so the imperfections be eliminated.
After completely dried, goes into the oven, called mufla for several hours at an extremely high temperature.
After that, the pieces are finally ready to be manipulated. We review them and apply the colored glass using immersion and sprinkling, getting back to the oven. The whole process takes several days.
Finally, we add the tags and the ribbons with our dear tiny bows, we pack and store them.

What is the message you would like to send to people who acquire your pieces?

The message is always the same. Remember to celebrate love and joy every day.