Born in Canada in 1957, Claudia von Boch discovered ceramics in Argentina, where she lived for 23 years. Her first contact with this material was when she visited the studio of an Argentinian ceramicist: “I was only ten years old, but immediately, a connection and love for this media was established. My family has been in the industrial manufacture of ceramics (Villeroy & Boch) for over eight generations. This was also decisive in influencing my choice for clay and hereafter becoming my most faithful companion.
Throughout my youth, I followed ceramic courses in various studios. Self-taught, I later continued to develop my modeling, wheel throwing, and technology skills through courses, workshops and apprenticeships with Argentinean ceramicists (Guillermo Mané and Jorge Basile). This led the way to my first studio, and while my family grew with the arrival of three children, I pursued my work with clay. In 1990, I moved to Lausanne, Switzerland, with my family, dog, and all—this was when ceramics took a real professional turn for me.
A year at Céruleum, School of Visual Arts in Lausanne (1994-95) was followed by four years of ceramics at the School of Visual Arts in Vevey (1995-99) under the direction of ceramicist Jacques Kauffman. In 1999, with a diploma in ceramics, I inaugurated the Atelier Gaïa in Pully, the Mother Earth of the Greeks, alluding to the earth from which we come and use as ceramicists.
For the next 25 years, I shared my time between my work (sculptural and non-functional objects) and the transmission of ceramics through teaching to adults and children. I have exhibited my work in galleries, salons, museums, and competitions in Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Canada, the USA, the Dominican Republic, and Croatia. Although today I still occasionally hold workshops (raku, mold casting, Kintsugi), in 2018, I stopped teaching and transferred my studio to Orcesco, a picturesque little village in Piemonte, Italy. In this inspiring area surrounded by mountains, I spend a good part of the year and continue my personal work.
Over the years, I have continued with further training: mold casting (Sasha Wardell, Emery-Jacquier, Jean François Lemaire) – paper-clay (Barbara Wagner) – porcelain (Jingdezhen, China) – calligraphy (Claire Mosnier, Denise Lach). These techniques have been integrated into my work and increased my freedom to express my ideas.”