Graphic designer and illustrator Irma Gruenholz toiled away in Madrid as an ad agency art director before shifting gears and launching a freelance career in illustration. While she’s perfectly capable working with pencils and paints, it was her decision to work in 3D that really set things in motion. Gruenholz painstakingly builds each illustration with hand-sculpted modelling clay before lighting and photographing it, giving each piece a beautiful sense of depth. Lately her work has been popping up in books, magazines, and advertisements around the world and you can see more on Facebook and over on Behance. If this tickled your brain, you might also dig Shintaro Ohata.
UK-based artist Beccy Ridsdel creates fun yet strangely macabre interventions where ceramics have been surgically altered to reveal additional layers of detail. Where the metaphor of surgery might normally evoke blood and guts, Ridsdel instead reveals further floral patterns inside bone china plates and cups. The pieces are part of an ongoing examination regarding the perception of ceramics as craft or art. You can see more of her work over on Facebook and she has a few pieces for sale in her shop. (via Slow Art Day)
Artist Brett Kern creates detailed ceramic objects that at first appear almost indistinguishable from inexpensive inflatable toys. Kern mimics the tell-tale wrinkles and forms of air-filled toys like dinosaurs, astronauts, balloons, and even whoopie cushions—all made from clay. You can see more work in his gallery, and he has several pieces available in his Etsy shop. (via Laughing Squid)
While the standard response to insects crawling across your food or dinner plate is usually nothing less than repulsion, that didn’t stop German artist Evelyn Bracklow of La Philie from creating these one-of-a-kind vintage porcelain dishes covered in hordes of hand-painted ants. Bracklow says of the pieces:
The idea for this work resulted from pure chance, when the sight of a carelessly placed plate—by then wandered by ants—fascinated me so much that I felt the urge to simply conserve this image. Fear, disgust, fascination and admiration: this very interplay of feelings constitutes the charm of the work. Furthermore, to me, the ants symbolize all the stories that any formerly discarded piece of porcelain carries with it. Where one once dined and drank, today ants bustle in ever new formations, every single one applied with a great love for detail.
It’s not hard to see that each piece is incredibly detailed and well-executed, making it strangely beautiful despite what it portrays. This balance of superb execution versus creepy subject matter may be the reason she’s had no problem selling the objects over on Etsy, where a number of them are currently available. (via Whimsebox)
With an adept understanding of ceramics and anatomy, Hong-Kong based artist Johnson Tsang (previously here and here) creates strange and unexpected anthropomorphic sculptures where human forms seem to splash effortlessly through functional objects like bowls, plates, and cups. While the works shown here are mostly innocent and comical in nature the artist is unafraid of veering into more macabre subject matter in other artworks that grapple with war and violence.
Tsang recently opened a solo show, Living Clay, at the Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taiwan that runs through January 19, 2014. You can see many more pieces from the exhibition over on his blog where you can also catch a glimpse of works in progress.
Created as part of a collaboration between animator Jim Le Fevre (previously) and artists Al Johnstone and Roops from RAMP Ceramics, this whirling clay pot acts like an animated zoetrope when spun at a certain speed. The film was shot by Mike Paterson and Le Fevre discusses the process of building it over on his blog. If you liked this there’s plenty more zoetrope action here. (via Laughing Squid)
Artist Johnson Tsang (previously) has been posting an amazing series of process photos over on his blog that demonstrate how he makes many of his bizarre ceramic creations. One piece that really stood out is called a Painful Pot, which is a functional teapot being squeezed by a dragon, its head functioning as the spout. (via EPLOD)
Currently living and working in Toronto, artist Gosia recently completed work on a series of beautiful sculpted busts made from polymer clay and gypsum. Titled Pearl, Luna, and Eva the works are an extension of her earlier paintings and are her first foray into sculpting. The artist shares via email:
It is an absolute thrill and pleasure to sculpt. Just as the final pieces have more dimension so does the experience of creating them. With every new figure I fight an internal “battle” of staying true to my posing model and creating someone from my imagination. The result ends up somewhere in between with elements inspired by neo-romanticism and fantasy.
Pearl, Luna and Eva are the first pieces in an ongoing series of originals created from casts of one bust. I had modeled a bald figure, made a mold and cast what i like to call my “blank canvases”. I then hand model unique details on each piece, just as you would to a blank canvas, creating “someone” new each time.