Craft

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Art Craft

Ancient Design Motifs Meet Contemporary Ceramics in Maxwell Mustardo’s Glowing Sculptures

September 14, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Maxwell Mustardo, shared with permission, courtesy of Culture Object and Jody Kivort

Gadrooning, an ornamental motif consisting of a series of tapered convex or concave curves, is derived from the decorative exteriors of Roman sarcophagi and antiquities. Renaissance artisans revisited it in the 16th century, and it re-emerged in the neoclassical revival of the 18th and 19th centuries. Referencing ancient designs and what he describes in a statement as the “broad, reverential notions of the vessel,” Maxwell Mustardo playfully examines the function of containers and earthenware over time.

In his gourd-like Gadroons and pudgy Anthropophorae—a series of bulging amphorae—a range of stippled lava glazes complement shocking hues or shimmering PVC coatings. Vibrant colors and swollen forms resemble balloons or 3D renderings displayed on a bright screen, and the resulting perception-bending, flocked-like surfaces make the pieces appear to be floating, wobbling, and glowing.

You can see Mustardo’s work at Culture Object through October 28 in a solo exhibition titled The Substance of Style. More information can also be found on his website and Instagram.

 

 

 

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Craft

Impressionistic Embroideries by Cassandra Dias Reflect Movement and Lush Landscapes in Thread

September 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Cassandra Dias, shared with permission

Cassandra Dias combines French knots, satin stitches, and various thread-painting techniques into impressionistic landscapes teeming with texture and organic color. Rugged mountains swell in neutral tones, the water’s surface hazily reflects the surrounding trees, and tiny pops of lavender and orange emerge through fields of green. The Camarillo, California-based artist began working with fiber in early 2020 and has since developed her distinctive style, which evokes movement and mimics the visible brushstrokes associated with painting.

For a glimpse into Dias’s process and to keep up with news about available pieces, follow her on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

A Cast of Articulate Cardboard Robots Populate a Growing Sci-Fi Universe Crafted by Greg Olijnyk

September 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Neil,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass domes, 48 centimeters. All images by Griffin Simm, © Greg Olijnyk, shared with permission

Melbourne-based artist Greg Olijnyk continues to add to his troupe of sci-fi robots crafted from cardboard, LED lights, and glass details. The elaborately constructed characters are fully articulate and populate an ever-expanding futuristic world that’s slightly dystopic and always filled with adventure. His latest creations also include a nod to art history, with a sculptural interpretation of M.C. Escher’s stairs that features tiny robots within the mind-bending cube.

For a glimpse into Olijnyk’s process and to keep up with his works steeped in fantasy, head to Instagram.

 

“Neil,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass domes, 48 centimeters

Detail of “Neil,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass domes, 48 centimeters

“Escher Cube,” cardboard, 50 square centimeters

Detail of “Escher Cube,” cardboard, 50 square centimeters

Detail of “Escher Cube,” cardboard, 50 square centimeters

“Prototype 1,” cardboard, LED lighting, glass tubes and lenses, 45 centimeters

“Prototype 2,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass lenses, 45 centimeters

“Prototype 2,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass lenses, 45 centimeters

Detail of “Prototype 2,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass lenses, 45 centimeters

 

 



Craft

Several Layers of Glaze Finish Mia Alajasko’s Ceramic Octopuses with Colorful Textures

August 29, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Mia Alajasko, shared with permission

Tentacles speckled with glaze and bulbous suckers support the bodies of Mia Alajasko’s ceramic mollusks. From her backyard workshop in Onsala, Sweden, the artist sculpts squids and octopuses that stand upwards of 40 centimeters. Each creature is cloaked in several layers of glaze that produce a diverse array of finishes from classic matte white and neutral-toned crackles to sleek rust and mottled shades of blue.

Alajasko makes about a dozen pieces each month, and her next shop release is on September 28. Keep an eye on her Instagram for updates.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Ceramic Rings Link Nature and Community in Cecil Kemperink’s Elaborate Moveable Sculptures

August 23, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Earth Song.” All images © Cecil Kemperink, shared with permission. Photo by Marja Sterck

Constant motion and transformation underpin ceramic artist Cecil Kemperink’s philosophy, drawing inspiration from the rhythms of nature. Since 2019, she has lived on Texel, an island north of The Netherlands in the Wadden Sea that’s recognized by UNESCO as the largest continuous, undisturbed intertidal ecosystem in the world. The infinite crashing of waves on the shore, grasses or branches waving in the wind, and the way humans interact with these phenomena inspire the artist’s linked, organic pieces that combine sculpture with performance (previously). Her work centers on a sense of connectedness, both ecological and within our communities, that manifests symbolically in the form of links that expand and contract like ceramic chainmail.

Intended to be manipulated and reshaped, each ring is looped to others to create a robust yet delicate fabric that the artist can move around on the floor, suspend from the ceiling, or wear. “Motion is a key part of the expressiveness of my sculptures,” she explains. “The movements show the importance of each circle. Every ring is essential and influences the other; they are all connected. They are all one. Every link wears the symbolism of a circle: conjunction, connection, power, endlessness, an eternally ongoing movement.” In some works, the components vary in size and can be expanded or contracted, while in others, such as “White grey tones,” they are closely connected and emphasize the circular form.

Kemperink’s sculptures bear a significant literal and metaphoric weight: when a piece is worn or carried, there is a strong awareness of its presence, responsibility for its care, and occasionally, the burden of carrying it. Characteristically, there’s also duality in the works’ being both malleable and taut. “The interaction of sculpture and woman/man opens several layers of consciousness,” she explains, as “each relation reveals new sensations, change of feelings, and a different energy. New perceptions are being shaped, multiple points of view arise, and consciousness is in full motion.”

Kemperink’s work “Wishful thinking” is included in the International Academy of Ceramics’ 70th-anniversary member’s exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland, from September 12 to 16. She has also recently started a YouTube channel, and you can find more of her work on her website and Instagram.

 

“Secrets.” Photo by Marja Sterck

“Something sweet in the wind”

Left: “Shaping perception 3.” Right: “Wishful thinking.” Photos by Marja Sterck

“White grey tones”

Reshaping process. Photo by Marja Sterck

“Morninglight”

“Flow motion.” Photos by Marja Sterck

 

 



Craft

‘Wild Textiles’ Is a Practical Guide for Turning Foraged Materials into Fiber-Based Works

August 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images by Michael Wicks, courtesy of Batsford

From gathering and retting stinging nettle to stitching leaves into delicately layered quilts, Wild Textiles: Grown, Foraged, Found is a trove of tips and projects involving organic fibers. The forthcoming book by artist Alice Fox is a practical guide to working with nature’s materials at all steps of the process: she offers advice on growing plants and harvesting others, how to transform the raw matter into cord or thread, and examples of artworks that incorporate the repurposed textiles. Published by Batsford, the volume covers both rural and urban findings, in addition to pieces by artists like Hillary Waters Fayle and Penny Maltby. Wild Textiles is available for pre-order on Bookshop.

 

Work by Hillary Waters Fayle