Known for her beautiful tile prints, Stephanie Borg has become synonymous with quality and creativity. Her ‘Pop Collection’ design was one of the first designs to be adopted by CARISMA, and now, almost a year later, she is on the cusp of launching a new collection. CARISMA sits down with her to speak about how she makes memorable pieces and her artistic evolution. “When I came back to Malta in 2008, I rekindled my love for the Maltese tiles. The ‘Pop Collection’ was a result of this fascination. I was eating, sleeping, and dreaming different patterns, and I wanted to reach more people. I kept thinking to myself, how can I bring these designs into people’s homes? That is where the mugs came in. Around a decade later, the CARISMA team were inspired by two of my patterns and used them in their jewellery. My pop pieces were particularly joyful because I felt this wonderful freedom when I made them. As a self-employed artist, I am my own boss, and so I have the liberty to explress myself freely and create what I want. I am looking forward to collaborating on more things in the future.” Indeed, when it comes to her work, Stephanie is all about being passionate and states that if she does not start getting a good feeling about a piece, she feels unable to do it: “With the way I work, unless I am in the right frame of mind, I cannot create, my heart has to be in it.” On asking her if the pandemic has affected her creativity, Stephanie states that this period has been one of creativity for her where she has done her best to continue getting on with things: “During this COVID-19 breakout, I came up with a new collection in a particular hue of blue, which I find quite joyful. I associate blue with the sky, the sea, and the Mediterranean way of life, where the sun and fresh air dominate everything. All the ‘NWAR Blue Blossom Collection’ has been made in Malta using a blue that has been mixed especially for me, and every last cup, bowl, and plate have been painted by hand so that each piece is essentially a unique work of art.” So, what was it that put the idea for Nwar in her head? “In the way I work, there is no real routine. This visual concept was something that was brewing in my head for some time. I was looking at all the different ways to express and extend my thoughts, and before I knew it, I was sketching. For me, NWAR is the climax of a creative energy that was piling up for some time. I have combined different patterns and concepts to evoke a flora and foliage effect, inspired by the local tile and wrought iron patterns, that seems to blossom in front of you. I work closely with ‘Mediterranean Ceramics’ in this collection who bring my vision to life as we see the designs bearing fruit. Nwar is an ode to Malta and Maltese craftsmanship; the fact that it is made and finished completely by hand pays homage to our forefathers who would spend their lives making things with love and patience. In Nwar, there truly is more than meets the eye.” Stephanie’s final message further builds on how essential it is to give our heritage the respect and pride of place it deserves: “It is important for people to keep supporting local and to appreciate what we have. We must not only celebrate our rich traditions, but we must also preserve them for future generations to enjoy. If we want others to respect us, then we must first respect ourselves and what we offer.” The ‘Nwar Blue Blossom Collection’ is currently available at Stephanie Borg’s studio in Rabat and online at: www.stephanieborg.com.