For our second-ever installment of Between the Sheets, we're talking to Salina Ladha, a Montreal-based ceramic and visual artist. You might have seen her work in her webshop, Everyday Smile, on record covers, or even on people's bodies—some fans of her playful line drawings have gotten them as tattoos.
Her practice is focused mainly on ceramics, and she spends her days in the studio, making pots and cups as well as gorgeous sculptures. She also teaches local classes, sharing her unique skills and sensibilities in hand-building.
Check out a few of Salina's recent works, and an interview below ⚱️🍶
Hi Salina! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm a ceramicist, sculptor, designer, illustrator and painter. My favorite medium to work with is clay.
What role does touch play in your work? Building with clay, you must be really in tune with your sense of touch.
I am very sensitive to touch, which is why I think clay is my preferred medium to work with. It is therapeutic touching clay and moving it around. When the clay is the right consistency it makes me tingle inside, it is a sensual feeling. Opening a new package of clay is insanely satisfying, there is nothing like it. Clay is a living material and working with it is a give and take.
What is the role of self-care in your life? Do you use it to control stress, or just to be present with yourself?
Self care is very important to me; however, I wish I allotted more time to it. I often have to take a step back and make an effort to take care of myself. Sometimes it's easy to forget how a simple thing can make a big difference in how I feel—like how a hot shower can "wash" the stress away, or how certain scents make me feel calm. Self care helps me feel relaxed, centered and more at ease with my life.
Do you have any favorite rituals of self-care?
I have a few rituals of self care. Some take a few minutes, others a few hours. I'll share with you one of my favourite days of self care.
Usually I start off by cleaning the whole house, mopping is essential in this. Then I do laundry, making sure the bed sheets, towels and PJ's are all washed. After the house is all clean, I make dinner—something that needs to simmer on the stove for a while. Food is lovely and tasting something good that I have made is very fulfilling.
While the food is cooking, I smoke weed then take a really hot shower, or if I have time, a bath. After that I put on lots of lotion and wear the most cuddly clothes. Now it's time to relax! Walking around my house barefoot on a clean floor being totally clean myself is so special to me. I am very sensitive to touch, and clean floors on my feet feels right. Then I eat, smoke some more and watch a movie with my partner.
Once I'm tired and all the lotion has soaked in I go to bed. Clean sheets plus a clean naked body is an amazing feeling. I love moving my legs around in the sheets, it feels so soft sometimes it's unbelievable—it's so good.
Can sex be a form of self-care?
There is no doubt that sex feels good and can relax tensions. I think it's important to listen to our bodies and let them feel natural and not to resist feelings. I think sex is calming and everyone deserves to feel calm.
How does art-making figure into all this?
Art making is very therapeutic for me. I need to create something often, if I take a long break from art making I am shrouded by a sense of emptiness. While I'm making something my brain kind of turns off in a way and I forget everything that's going on. It's a moment of clarity where nothing matters but me and the work.