Tastemaker: Nadeige Choplet of Choplet Ceramics
I met Nadeige when I was in South Williamsburg recently for my day trip post (see it here!). I quickly realized that I needed to have an extended conversation with her when I learned that there is so much more to her story! Read on to learn about this artist and entrepreneur’s journey from art school in Paris to ceramics studio in Brooklyn – it’s inspiring, to say the least.
How did you first become so passionate about pottery?
I received a scholarship from The Beaux-Arts school in Paris to come study in New York for a semester. At that time I was predominantly a painter but as soon as I step foot in the ceramic studio of the university, I felt I had arrivedJ. I spent my entire time working with clay. The school invited me to stay (for free!) for another semester and I took the wonderful opportunity. Upon my return to Paris, I changed my diploma’s concentration from painting to 3D and I included ceramic work in the Master’s exhibition. I also applied for a Fulbright Scholarship, which gave me the mean to come back to New York and pursue a second Master entirely dedicated to clay.
And how did it lead to open your own place?
After graduating with a Master in Ceramic from Lehman College, CUNY, I became an adjunct professor at the school and discovered I really enjoyed sharing my passion with others. I also started selling my functional hand painted work all across the country while still working on sculptural pieces to be shown at Claude Samuel Gallery in Paris. I was spending a tremendous amount of time alone in my studio. I was not seeking to work less but I wanted to meet interesting people. It came to mind that there may be some people in Williamsburg that could be interested in learning ceramics. I put a sandwich board outside and bought 4 pottery wheelsJ
You have been in South Williamsburg for a while and I am sure have seen tremendous change. Can you explain and share your feelings about the growth of the area?
I mostly embrace the tremendous amount of change that has happened in this neighbor for the past 10 years. I appreciate that some of the chain stores “re-invent themselves” to look a little different when they move here and sometimes even offer corners or pop up shop events in their stores for handmade work. I enjoy the quality of food and European products we now have access to. What makes Williamsburg so special at this time is the balance of convenience with still a flair for “off the grid / up and coming” fashion, Art and Design. I truly hope we can preserve that.
It seems like you have expanded your shop…can you tell me about your goals and vision for the future of Choplet?
My number one goal is to always keep my studios as a community builder where longtime friendships are made and incredible work is produced.
What is something interesting you can share with us that not many people know about you?
I am French but I will confess I have very limited culinary skills. My husband does most of the cooking in our household. I am passionate about interior design and have gut renovated a few apartments
What do you like to do when you are not on the wheel or are away from your shops?
Those times are rare!:) If I am not at the studio, I am with my 4.5 years old son. My husband and I like to have impromptu diners with old and new friends, lots of them we met at the studio!
You can find more information about ceramics and pottery classes at Nadeige’s studio at https://choplet.com/.