We continue to be amazing by ceramic artist Jon Almeda's (previously) incredibly tiny vessels thrown by hand on a miniature clay wheel. The variety of cups, vases, bowls, and other objects are so tiny they can perch on a fingertip or rest on a coin. Almeda has also been flexing his model-building skills by constructing 1/12th replicas of a kiln and ceramic wheel for use by an architect. You can see many videos of his works in progress on his wildly popular Instagram account.
Ceramic artist Tim Kowalczyk is drawn to objects of little material value—crushed tin cans, ripped up cardboard, and Polaroids that have been damaged during development. It is in these typical throw aways that he finds beauty, an attraction to the history embedded in their wrinkles and folds. To memorialize these items Kowalczyk creates their likeness in clay, creating works that look exactly like mugs haphazardly formed from cardboard with “Please Handle With Care” stickers still stuck to their sides.
“Ceramic’s ability to replicate any form, texture, or surface is what draws me to the material,” says Kowalczyk in his artist statement. “Replicating real objects out of ceramic material and putting them in a tableau is my version of writing a poem. I am able to sculpt, form, design, and construct sculptures with a sense of purpose, priority, and preciousness.”
The Illinois-based artist graduated with an MFA from Illinois State University in 2011, and is the adjunct Ceramics instructor at Illinois Central in East Peoria, IL. You can see more of his work on his website or at Companion Gallery where he is represented.
Madrid-based graphic designer and illustrator Irma Gruenholz (previously here and here), crafts her illustrations out of clay, turning the typically 2D medium on its head by creating brightly dressed figures in 3D environments. Gruenholz meticulously places and photographs each of the works, placing them in books, posters and advertisements. The artist is generous about letting her audience witness her process, snapping step-by-step images that outline actions such as making tiny sandals and arranging the hairs on a mermaid’s head.
This year, Gruenholz was shortlisted for the World Illustration Awards in London, and work is also included in the recent book “Alchemy: The Art and Craft of Illustration” now available in the Colossal Shop. You explore more of her ceramic illustration work on Behance and her website.
Stretching the properties of porcelain clay to the max, artist Johnson Tsang (previously) contorts the faces of his anonymous sculptures into rubber. The comical works morph facial features and body parts, at times cramming the identities of multiple persons into a single being. These new pieces from his “Lucid Dreams” series were recently on view at the Hong Kong Sculpture Biennial as part of Art Asia 2016. You can see the rest of them here.
Polish artist NeSpoon (previously here and here) focuses on lace motifs that cover the walls, streets, and public parks found in urban environments. The lace works are either painted directly onto the surface or formed from clay, each handmade by herself or the traditional folk artists with whom she works.
“In lace there is an aesthetic code which is deeply embedded in every culture,” says NeSpoon. “In every lace we find symmetry, and some kind of order and harmony. Isn’t that what we all seek for instinctively?”
Recently NeSpoon has created work in Wroclaw, Auckland, Pont-l’Abbé, and Warsaw. You can see more of her public murals and installations on Behance.
Look once you see your grandmother’s china, look twice and you see… Big Foot? Don Moyer, the graphic designer behind Calamityware (previously here and here), has designed several more white porcelain plates playfully poking the traditional blue Willow pattern design. On his plates, intricate patterns found on the outer edge trick the eye until one notices mysterious occurrences happening near the center. Pirate ships take over Victorian villages, swamp monsters grab for traditional Japanese pagodas, and erupting volcanoes threaten to overtake peaceful towns.
Two of Moyer’s newest plate designs, a group of savage zombie poodles and a soaring pterodactyl, are currently on Kickstarter. You can purchase these plates on Calamityware’s website, where you will also find some dishware crawling with ants and flies.