Member of the Month - Murtiga - The Interview

This month we bring you the wonderful world of "Murtiga", Ana Bossa's little ceramic sculptures that tell you stories of life, sometimes playful, sometimes quirky, but always beautiful.

Enjoy! :)

Name: Ana Bossa
Etsy shop: Murtiga

1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm 34, I live in Lisbon and whenever possible, I escape of the city with "my little figures and animals on my back" to a place caught between Portugal and Spain, where in reality there is a river called Murtiga.

2. How and when was this creative passion born?

I work in ceramics for over 10 years, learned informally with “Irmãs Flores”, artisans of the traditional figures from Estremoz in Alentejo, as I listened to their stories and saw directly born of their hands, while they were painting the traditional characters they portray. Since that time, I’ve learned a lot, especially because modeling evolves with practice and experience that is acquired over the years.

3. Did you study for it or for something completely different?

I studied Landscape Architecture, Design, Animation Film and Photography. The ceramic appeared by accident until it becomes a constant.

I also work in Illustration and keep the ceramics, applied in another context, mainly because of the organic textures. Summary the set of all these learnings and complementary techniques, set and character my creative expression.

4. Is this your fulltime job or do you have another job?

I have several jobs because I never devoted exclusively to an area. Currently i’m working in ceramics, illustration and with some schools I develop training in the field of animation.

5. How did this project started?

The conditions have been met for a long time, my ceramic work is for sale in some places in Portugal and Spain.

Less than a year ago when I met the Etsy universe, the “Murtiga” brand was born.

6. What inspires you?

I am inspired on observation of the world. A look full of stories that i search, to discover and interpret but also on how humans generally see their own existence, and the consciousness and contradiction they acquire over the years.

7. How do you choose your materials? And where do you find them? 

Typically I use high temperature materials such as stoneware, by modeling properties and strength. On sale in stores or suppliers of specialized ceramic material. Sometimes I can also find, during a walk in the countryside, a kind of earth or wet land with a color or interesting texture, and do some experiments with these mixtures.

8. Could you share a typical work day?

In a regular work day, with several works in hand, I'm bouncing around between the drawing board, to the computer desk and the bench modeling and painting. Moreover, some frequent trips to the post office and other unforeseen events, so sometimes the work days end only too late, beyond the dinner.

9. What is your favorite part of your work and work tool? Why?

In my working method there are several stages, sketching, modeling, drying, baking, painting. My favorite stage is to pass an idea organized in paper, to the three-dimensional phase, adding volume and body to the sketch. At this stage, my greatest tool is my hands and a small wood tool.

10. Why did you open an Etsy shop?

It is an effective way to control and expand across borders, where the entire work process and disclosure relies almost exclusively on me.

11. What do you thinks are the benefits of belonging to a team like the PTteam?

Being part of a group like PTteam, eases the process to disclosure a Portuguese trademark in Etsy. We are "patronized” by the dedication that a member received. PTteam uses in a great humane way, virtuality associated with digital contacts, and makes real and a pleasure the process of communication and sharing.

12. What do you do to promote your work and shop?

There are times when I do less than I should do, because the disclosure process plus the practical realization of the “Small Murtiga Creatures”, consumes a lot of time. But whenever I can, I am mindful of the dissemination activity, with treasuries and seeking to be updated.

13. What advice would you like to share with fellow artists or crafters? 
My advice is to seek a path in creative expression for which is a pleasure to work. Where the purpose of each sale, is to leave the customer happy with the product. It’s a commitment to satisfaction.

14. What do you find most inspiring in the country you're from / Portugal?
In a country like Portugal, the cultural contrasts from north to south are accented. Therefore, the most inspiring is to discover so many cultures, in it’s various manifestations.

15. Where do you see yourself and your project in 5 years?
Five years from now, I hope I’ve done some projects contextualizing the Murtiga project, merge with other realities. Soon, some Murtiga creatures will "come to life" in the film animation area, and in the future other projects will come.

16. What would you take with you if your house was on fire?
Here at home we are two adults and a 9 years old child. A cat, dog and Darwin, the turtle. We would have to organize ourselves, like in a evacuation exercise to confirm that we were all and if we still have time to escape, I would save the printed photos and the hard drives.

Quick fire questions. Your favorites:
Book: “The Grapes of Wrath” John Steinbeck
Movie: “Paris, Texas” Wim Wenders
Music: “In a silent way” Miles Davis
Artist: Miguelanxo Prado
Food: Alentejo tomato soup with cheese
City: I prefer places with a smaller size than city...
Country: Spain

All images by Ana Bossa aka Murtiga.


  1. Lovely interview Ana, thanks for sharing it with us!

  2. Fantastic Ana!
    Great to hear about your path in life.
    Love the Isabelle Vandenabeele print in your studio!
    All the best to you:)

  3. Bravo Anna. J"adore votre univers, votre simplicité et vos personnages. Continuez votre passion. ...




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