Tag Archives: ceramics

Surrealist Sculptures by Ellen Jewett Merge Plant and Animal Life

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Artist Ellen Jewett refers to her sculptural work as “natural history surrealist sculpture,” a blend of plants, animals, and occasionally human-made structures or objects. Her artwork is deeply informed by an extensive background in anthropology, medical illustration, exotic animal care, and even stop-motion animation, all of which accentuate the biological structure of each piece, while freeing her imagination to pursue more abstract ideas.

Over time, Jewett has become more focused on minimizing materials and relying a negative space. “I find my sculptures are evolving to be of greater emotional presence by using less physical substance,” she shares. In addition, she eschews any potentially toxic mediums like paints, glazes, and finishes, opting to use more natural, locally-sourced materials. “This, unavoidably, excludes most of what is commonly commercially available, and has sent me on a journey of unique material combination and invention.” By employing these more uncommon materials, and leaving traces of fingerprints and other slight imperfections Jewett hopes her work leaves a more authentic impression.

You explore more of Ellen’s work on her website, and many of her pieces (some of which you see here) are available for purchase online.

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Ceramic Tile Illusion Painted on a Boring Electrical Box in Lisbon

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Illustrator and street artist Diogo Machado (aka Add Fuel) transformed this plain looking electrical box on the streets of Lisbon into a surprising illusion by making it look like a cracked exterior is revealing a blue tile interior. The piece is an extension of Fuel’s ongoing Street Ceramic work, where modern interpretations of tile patterns are installed onto building facades. You can see more views of this piece on StreetArtNews.

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Hand-Painted Ceramic Bowls Filled with Detailed Hippos, Foxes and Deer

Animal Bowls, 2004, Hella Jongerius for Nymphenburg © Nymphenburg

These animal-filled porcelain bowls were meticulously crafted by hand and designed by Hella Jongerius for a commission by Nymphenburg, a Bavarian porcelain manufacture since the mid-18th century. The series was produced as a celebration of the animal collection found in their archives, and incorporates 3D creatures within the simple glazed bowls.

The ceramics display animals that look as if they have been temporarily and calmly placed upon the delicate bowls—curious foxes, birds, and miniature hippos happily plopped into their fragile environments. The displays are also hand painted with floral decorative patterns originally found on Nymphenburg’s cups and saucers, adding subtle detail to the glossed ceramic works. (via Jongeriuslab)

animal_bowls_fox©Nymphenburg

animal_bowls_dog©Nymphenburg

animal_bowls_frog©Nymphenburg

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Hand-painted Ceramic Plate Installations by Molly Hatch

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Quand on Aime Tout est Plaisir: After Fragonard, USA, 2013

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Quand on Aime Tout est Plaisir: After Fragonard, USA, 2013

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Recite, USA, 2014. 199 hand-thrown porcelain porcelain plates with glaze and underglaze, acrylic paint, hardware.

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Recite, detail.

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Covet Project, 2012.

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Covet Project, 2012.

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Deconstructed Lace: After Royal Copenhagen, USA, 2014. 93 hand-thrown and hand-painted porcelain plates with glaze and underglaze.

Massachusetts-based artist Molly Hatch creates immense installations of hand-built ceramic plates painted with a variety of patterns and scenes. Hatch frequently re-contextualizes historic images used centuries ago by old porcelain manufactures as well as paintings and textiles. Her largest artwork to date, Physic Garden, was installed last year at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, a monumental installation of 475 plates depicting imagery used on Chelsea Factory plates dating back to the 1750s. Hatch is represented by Todd Merrill Studio, and you can see more work on her website. (via Design*Sponge, My Amp Goes to 11)

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Extremes of Human Nature Explored through Hand-Built Stoneware Animals by Beth Cavener Stichter

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Obariyon. 2013. Stoneware, antique hooks, glaze. 17 x 46 x 30″

Washington-based artist Beth Cavener Stichter sculpts human-sized animals from clay and other materials in both dramatically overt and subtly ambigous displays of emotion. Hung from ropes or pinned to walls, the anthropomorphic sculptures are infused with juxtapositions that depict the extremes of both human emotion and animalistic behavior: predator and prey, love and hate, fear and peace. “On the surface,” shares Stichter, “these figures are simply feral animals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface, they embody the consequences of human fear, apathy, aggression, and misunderstanding.”

Stichter collaborates with a variety of artists in her work, including Alessandro Gallo, who designed and painted the ornate Japanese tattoos on the nineteen-foot long anaconda snake depicted in Tangled Up in You seen below. There’s much more to see over on her website and several studio views on Hi-Fructose. All images courtesy the artist.

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Obariyon, detail.

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Obariyon, detail.

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Tangled Up in You. 2014. Stoneware, mixed media. Tattoos designed and painted by Alessandro Gallo.

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Tangled Up in You, detail.

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Tangled Up in You, detail.

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Tangled Up in You, detail.

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The Sentimental Question. 2012. Stoneware.

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L’Amante. 2012. Stoneware, painted tattoos. 45 x 60 x 44″

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L’Amante, detail.

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The Question That Devours. 2012. Stoneware.

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Mirror Coffee Cups by ‘D-Bros’ Reflect Patterns on Saucers

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Created by Japanese design brand D-Bros (previously) these carefully hand-crafted coffee/tea mugs made from Hasami porcelain are painted with a thin layer of reflective palladium that allows each cup to mirror the saucer it rests on. D-Bros created many different geometric designs, some of which are available over at Spoon & Tamago.

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Unsettling Ceramic Tableware by Ronit Baranga Incorporates Realistic Mouths and Fingers

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Israeli ceramicist Ronit Baranga‘s “body of work” is unsettling, to say the least. Sculpted from clay, realistic fingers emerge from plates while mouths lurk inside cups. The gnarled fingers and lips seem poised for action. We would most certainly hesitate before using any of these for fear of being bitten.

The mouth is an interesting element for ceramic tableware as its main purpose, at least conventionally, has been to carry food and drink until it reaches the mouth. “I chose to deal with ‘mouth’ as a metaphoric connotation to a border gate,” said Baranga in an interview late last year. “A border between the inner body and the external environment surrounding it.”

Ronit Baranga’s curious works, which blur the border between living and still, were most recently part of the two group exhibitions at Bet-Binyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center in Tel-Aviv. (via I Need A Guide)

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