Posts tagged
with porcelain


Alarming Juxtapositions of Human and Natural Elements in Sculptures by Kate MacDowell

March 6, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Portland-based artist Kate MacDowell (previously) continues to construct discomfiting combinations of human and wildlife elements in her porcelain sculptures. She builds each piece by hand, and often layers in details after hollowing out the main form, whether it is a fox’s body encasing a human skull or a human brain filled with flora and fauna.  MacDowell describes her choice of material:

I chose porcelain for its luminous and ghostly qualities as well as its strength and ability to show fine texture.  It highlights both the impermanence and fragility of natural forms in a dying ecosystem, while paradoxically, being a material that can last for thousands of years and is historically associated with high status and value.

The artist’s work is included in a group show at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY, which is open through April 15, 2018, and she is also leading a week-long workshop on porcelain sculpting at Idyllwild Arts in California in June 2018. You can see more of her work on her website and Facebook page.




Anonymous Figures Struggle Against Nature in Porcelain Sculptures by Claudia Fontes

February 15, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Since 2013, artist Claudia Fontes (previously) has been investigating the use and meaning of the word “foreigner” in a series of small figurative sculptures. Each sculpture, which is about the size of Fontes’ hand (about 23 x 5 cm / 9 x 2 inches) is made with flaxseed paper porcelain. Anonymous figures, alone or in groups, are consumed by or emerging from organic textures that resemble grass, sea sponges, and thin shards of stone. Fontes has been based in England for the last ten years, where ‘foreigner’ is a popular pejorative term. She was born and raised in Argentina, and has also lived and worked in the Netherlands. The artist describes the process and inspiration behind the series on her website:

I began to make [Foreigners] in response to the English landscape that surrounds me and to my cultural understanding of it as a foreigner. I generally find the images out of which they are born during walks in the nearby forest and in the field that begins as soon as I cross the street where I live. During these walks, I concentrate in observing the process of transformation, interaction and the mechanisms of adaptation that happen amongst the creatures that share this particular bio-political system.

You can explore more of Fontes’ body of work, which includes other sculptures as well as conceptual pieces, on her website. (via Womens Art)




New Porcelain Vessels Densely Layered in Leaf Sprigs and Other Botanical Forms by Hitomi Hosono

November 21, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Ceramicist Hitomi Hosono (previously) creates porcelain vessels layered in hundreds of leaf sprigs and other botanical forms. These monochromatic elements are based on plants Hosono encounters during walks through East London’s greenery. “It is my intention to transfer the leaf’s beauty and detail into my ceramic work,” she explains, using it as my own language to weave new stories for objects.”

Her technique is inspired by Jasperware, a type of stoneware covered in thin ceramic reliefs invented by Josiah Wedgwood in the late 18th century. Like Wedgwood, she carefully applies her delicate forms to a porcelain base. From start to finish a larger work will take Hosono nearly a year and a half to complete. Much of this time is spent drying, as her densely layered works often need 10-12 months to completely dry.

Hosono’s solo exhibition, Reimagining Nature: Hitomi Hosono’s Memories in Porcelain, is currently on view at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation in London through December 15, 2017. You can see more of her layered botanical sculptures on the artist’s website and through her gallery Adrian Sassoon.



Art Food

Decadent Pastries Formed From Porcelain and Glass by Shayna Leib

October 12, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

All photos by Eric Tadsen

Glass artist Shayna Leib (previously), like anyone, is deeply attracted to the seductive pull of decadent desserts. Unlike most however, Leib is unable to indulge. Her body reacts to several aspects of puffed pastries and chocolate mouses, causing her to have many severe dietary restrictions. It was this void that pulled her towards the desire to work with the unattainable, to recreate the objects she couldn’t eat.

“This body of work started as a therapeutic exercise in deconstruction and a re-training of the mind to look at dessert as form rather than food,” says Leib in an artist statement about her series Patisserie. “It soon became a technical riddle, and I became a food taxidermist of french pastries.”

To create the glossy sculptures she combines elements of porcelain and glass, utilizing nearly every technique for both to achieve the hyperrealistic quality of each faux dessert. Like a typical French pastry would be rolled, glazed, baked, and trimmed, Leib hot-sculpts, fuses, casts, grinds, throws, and even pipes with a theme-appropriate pastry tube. You can view more of her sweet imitations on her website, Instagram, and Facebook.




New Satisfying Porcelain Faceting Videos by Abe Haruya

June 28, 2017

Christopher Jobson

As a finishing touch before glazing his wheel-thrown vases and bowls, ceramic artist Abe Haruya (previously) sets about carving the surface of each piece with various metallic tools. Many of the pieces are done freehand by sight, but some of the more complex scale-like patterns are first sketched with a pencil before Haruya carefully rakes across the surface to remove thin layers of porcelain. The videos have proven to be wildly fascinating to watch, garnering millions of views across Instagram despite a proportionally smaller following. You can catch a number of additional videos here.



Art Craft

Ornate Ceramic Vessels Encased in Porcelain Flowers by Artist Vanessa Hogge

May 2, 2017

Christopher Jobson

London-based artist Vanessa Hogge sculpts vessels and decorative wall objects called wallflowers covered in hundreds of delicate porcelain petals out of her studio in Cockpit Arts Holborn. The one-off pieces are inspired by daisies, chrysanthemums, dahlias, hydrangeas, and daphne and range from smaller pieces she assembles in a few hours to larger vases weeks in the making. You can watch a video of her process below and see more on Instagram. (via The Jealous Curator)




A Menagerie of Animals Covered in Surreal Landscapes of Flora and Fauna by Ellen Jewett

April 24, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Working with a mixture of cold porcelain and polymer atop a metal wire armature, artist Ellen Jewett (previously) creates wildly intricate sculptures of animals covered in a tangle of surreal embellishments. The artist describes her works as “anthrozoology meets psychoanalysis,” where tiny clues left in the feathers, fur, and tentacles of each piece lead to a greater story of its meaning. From her artist statement:

Each detail, down to the finest filigree, is free-modeled by hand. Within each piece precision is balanced by chaos. The overarching aesthetic knocks on the door of realism, yet the hand of the artist is never intentionally erased; brush strokes and fingerprints abound. Even the narratives themselves harbor a degree of anarchy as they are rarely formally structured. Rather, I seek to achieve flow states while working to create a fluid progression of unconscious imagery.

Jewett most recently exhibited at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco for a group show titled Hindsight, and just wrapped up work on a body of 10 new artworks. You can see some great behind-the-scenes process photos on Instagram.