British ceramicist Tamsin van Essen is fascinated by what she describes as the “the fragile boundary between attraction and repulsion,” a place where tension is created by the visible and the obscured. For her Erosion series Essen created layered blocks of alternating black and white porcelain which she then sandblasted to mimic biological forms similar to a parasitic virus in the process of devouring a host. In a even more literal example, she created a series of ceramic vessels that appear to be infected with specific bacteria.
Essen just spent three months working on a new body of work currently on view at Siobhan Davies Studios in London, and you can see additional pieces over on Saatchi Art. (via Coroflot)
As part of a new body of work on view at the COLLECT Art Fair which opens today in London, artist Zemer Peled (previously) created a new series of “blooming” sculptures from assorted ceramic shards. The new pieces include her continued use of blue cobalt found in traditional Japanese pottery that has been smashed with a hammer and arranged in the form of large blossoms. Peled also constructs much larger cactus-like pieces that can tower several feet tall or even span floor to ceiling. You can see several more new blooms in her portfolio, and catch her on the May cover of Ceramics Monthly. Peled is represented at COLLECT by The Cynthia Corbett Gallery.
Since we last learned about NeSpoon last year, the Polish street artist has popped up everywhere with new pieces in Perth, Tunisia, Portugal, and elsewhere. NeSpoon translates traditional lace patterns into large-scale murals or stencils, ceramic installations, and even embroidery. The artworks are part of her ongoing series of “public jewelry” that seeks to turn unadorned spaces and surfaces into something beautiful. You can see more over on Behance.
California-based artists Cindy and James Searles make call kinds of handmade ceramic air plant holders in the form of jellyfish, squid, octopi, and other underwater creatures. They come in shapes in size way too numerous to show here, you can see more in their shop. If you liked this, also check out Cathy Van Hoang’s urchin shell air planters.
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.
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.
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)