Tag Archives: porcelain

A 150-Year-Old Porcelain Warehouse in Japan Opens for Daily ‘Treasure Hunts’ for Just $45 

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The Kouraku Kiln was founded in Arita (Saga Prefecture, Japan) in 1865 and has been producing ceramics for the past 150 years. Over that time the facility has accumulated a vast collection of pottery that has, for one reason or another, gone unsold. The warehouse is so vast that some workers use a bicycle to get from one side to the other. And they’ll be the first to admit that even they don’t really know what’s in there. The production facility is now inviting visitors on a “treasure hunt” to try and get rid of some of their stock.

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Here’s how the treasure hunt works:

— Make your reservation by phone (they only allow 10 people per day)
— Show up at your designated time and select your course and pay: 5,000 yen or 10,000 yen (about $45 to $90)
— Get a 30-min tour of the facility
— Begin your 90-min treasure hunt. You’ll be given a pair of gloves, a flashlight and a basket. You can take home everything you fit in your basket.
— The more expensive course gives you access to a special section of decoratively painted ceramics but both allow you to take home as much as you can fit in your basket. Once done you’ll get to wrap everything up in newspaper so that nothing breaks on your way home.

It sounds like a really fun excursion! They even have an English-speaking staff on hand to assist foreigners.

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(Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

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New Ceramic Coral Reefs by Courtney Mattison Draw Attention to Earth’s Changing Oceans 

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“Aqueduct” (2016), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 8 x 8 x 1 feet, all images via Courtney Mattison

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“Aqueduct” (2016), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 8 x 8 x 1 feet

Doubling as an artist and ocean advocate, Courtney Mattison (previously) produces large-scale ceramic installations that draw attention to conservation of our planet’s seas. Her latest installation “Aqueduct” showcases hundreds of porcelain sea creatures including anemones, sponges, and coral sprouting from a porcelain air duct. The piece asks us to imagine the plight of these undersea creatures as tropical sea temperatures begin to rise, asking where they might migrate to once their homes have been rendered uninhabitable.

In addition to large-scale installations, Mattison also sculpts more intimate vignettes. Her series “Hope Spots” depicts areas in our seas that are critical to the overall health of the ecosystem. Each of the sculptures is a representation of one of these spots as identified by Mattison’s longtime hero and marine biologist Dr. Sylvia Earle.

The Denver-based artist studied marine ecology and ceramics at Skidmore College and received a Master of Arts degree in environmental studies from Brown University. Last year she was named one of the top 100 “Ocean Heroes” by Origin Magazine. Her most recent exhibition is “Sea Change” currently at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art through April 17, 2016. You can see more of Mattison’s finished and in-progress installations on her Instagram.

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“Aqueduct” (2016), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 8 x 8 x 1 feet

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“Aqueduct” (2016), glazed stoneware and porcelain, 8 x 8 x 1 feet

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“Coral Sea II” (2015), glazed stoneware + porcelain, 17 x 16.5 x 11.5 inches

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“Chagos Archipelago II” (2015), glazed stoneware + porcelain, 17 x 16 x 9 inches

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“Outer Seychelles II” (2015), glazed stoneware, 17 x 16 x 9 inches

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“Micronesian Islands” (2015), glazed stoneware + porcelain, 17 x 17.5 x 12.5 inches

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Alberto Bustos’ Paperlike Ceramics Imitate Sprouting Blades of Grass 

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Inspired by forms of vegetation, Spanish artist Alberto Bustos' pieces appear like blades of grass sprouting from the earth, stretching and curling upwards towards an imagined sun. At first glance the pieces look delicate enough to be paper, layered works that exude a dual sharp and fragile quality. However, after a closer inspection one can see that the works are indeed porcelain, adding another dimension to their soft initial appearance.

Bustos lives and work in Spain and his work will be included in Mas De Les Gralles with 40 other international artists on June 13th just outside of Barcelona. Hundreds more images of his work can be found on his Facebook page here. (via Ron Beck Designs)

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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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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)

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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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