My name is Miguel João Ramos, from Funchal, and born in 1975. Since I was young, I always sensed the potential in manual work, as well as in colours and tools. I was greatly influenced by my grandfather a craftsman of many trades. At the beginning of 2000, I decided to leave Madeira and head for the Alentejo. It was a significant decision that would lead me to expand my understanding of ceramics.
Whilst I was at the centre for craftsmanship in Reguengos de Monsarraz, I had the opportunity to follow ceramics to deeper level whilst in contact with other ceramicists. Subsequently, through nourishing and being nourished by this craft, it felt like everything was an inspiration; the people of the Alentejo, the place, all very connected. In 2008-10, inspired by the wish to learn more, I headed towards Caldas de Rainha, where I undertook a technical course for professional ceramicists.
This was a pivotal decision as it was here that I realised my future was in ceramics. I worked in various sculpture (land art) projects with collective 114, and travelled from north to south, as well as passing through Spain. I realised all that was missing was some professional work experience in a ceramics worshop to complement the skills I had already learnt. This happened in 2011 and was fundamental for my development as a ceramicist.
I eventually returned to Madeira in 2014, and things were very different from the time that I left. I want to stay on the island. Its an inspiring place to be, surrounded by the immensity of the ocean as well as the nearby mountains.
At the beginning of 2015 I embraced the opportunity of having a workshop space at Quinta de Santa Luzia, a place that unites agriculture and rural tourism.
My work is based around pieces that either have a utilitarian function, or are more decorative, such as ceramic tiles and sculpture. At the moment I am developing bird houses and am using local clay to make amphora’s, which will be used to help irrigate agricultural land. At the same time I am exploring different forms and textures whilst developing both, blowing (ocarinas) and percussion instruments (udus).
Barro Cru is a space for all those who are interested in ceramics, both in the form of creating (on the wheel) as well as painting and tiles.