Salt of the Sea: Sofia Albuquerque's Ceramics Odyssey

Art — 27.12.23

Words and Photography: Olga Shatokha

In the heart of Lisbon, Portugal lies the studio of Sofia Albuquerque – a ceramics artist breathing life into the ancient art of ceramics with a modern twist.


Born and raised in Portugal, Sofia found inspiration in the oceanic embrace of the Atlantic. This is mirrored in the name “Sal Atelier”: “Sal” means “salt” in Portuguese and simultaneously abbreviates Sofia’s first and last names.


The use of white as a dominant color in her creations is a deliberate choice – a homage to the purity of salt, the simplicity of life, and the blank canvas that awaits each artist.


Sofia loves rituals. Her studio is brimming with objects found in nature – a collection of seashells, an assortment of sticks, and fresh flowers. These objects always accompany her art-making. She believes that by turning every action into a ritual, we can be more present in each moment.


Before delving into ceramics, Sofia was a painter. After certain life changes, she felt the need to find another form of expression. Clay made her feel more connected to nature and earth. These days, she still paints in her apartment, predominantly exploring themes related to nature. Additionally, one of her notebooks is filled with writing – a made-up (or, rather, intuitive) writing where she simply lets her hand be led.


Since Sofia translates the events of her life into art, I can’t help but ask if she creates better art when she’s happy or when she’s unhappy. She says that it depends on what to consider “better” – every fluctuation has its own unique beauty.


Sal Atelier stands as a living testament to an artist’s journey, a pilgrimage to the depths of creativity.

Follow Sofia’s artistic endeavors via Sal Atelier’s Instagram.