When Edward Schilling moved to Portugal in February 2020, he left a successful career in LA behind him, and he was ready for something completely different. He arrived in Portugal’s capital Lisbon with an open mind and eager to discover, create and blend in. Ed walked the beautiful ancient streets of his new home city, talked with people in a mix of English and Portuguese and started to visit local makers’ studios. Then the pandemic started and Lisbon went into its first lockdown. His enthusiastic discoveries suddenly curbed, Ed decided not to give up and quickly continued to explore and reflect, and to shape his ideas, fueled by the many impressions he gained as a newcomer.
Pedra was born.
“Pedra is ‘stone’ in Portuguese. I knew this would this had to be the name of my work, because of the ‘calçada Portuguesa’ I had fallen in love with. I also had a certain idea of what I wanted, but I knew very little about how to produce it. Not really knowing how the whole process works was something I had to find out, and through that process I also learned a lot about the backgrounds of ceramics as an important part of Portuguese history. With Pedro (Pacheco, local artisan and ceramicist) I went through a trial-and-error phase, also when it comes to the shapes. Creating ceramics requires lots of time and energy, and once it’s baked you can’t change anything anymore. Pedro was extremely patient with me — one can feel that besides being a great artist he’s also a skilled ceramics professor at the university of Lisbon. I wanted to create something of scale, an art object, something substantial, rather than plates or vases. Each of the 7 vessel is a bit different since they’re all handmade, each turned and carved separately. They’re glazed on the inside so you can put water on the inside. Ideal for the entry hall of your house or office, as a key position art piece.” – Edward Schilling