Posts tagged
with ceramics

Art Craft

Delicate Spikes and Lush Petals Bloom from Avital Avital’s Voluptuous Porcelain Vessels

November 15, 2022

Kate Mothes

Botanic-inspired porcelain vessels by Avital Avital.

All images © Avital Avital, shared with permission

The diverse world of plants and flowers is a source of fascination for ceramic artist Avital Avital, who crafts delicately detailed vessels from porcelain. In her studio in Ramat Gan, Israel, the artist sculpts slender petals, fragile spikes, and orbs dabbed with confectionary-like dots. She is interested in the relationship between functionality and decoration, drawing on the rich history of clay as a medium and mingling technical skill with conceptual ideas.

Inspired by nature’s boundless variety of forms and colors, her choice of material complements her subject matter: “I am interested in balancing between the delicacy of the porcelain and its strength and to use its potential transparency by sculpting colorful petals that are skin-like when directed to a source of light.”

You can find more of Avital’s work on Instagram.


A botanic-inspired porcelain sculpture by Avital Avital.

A botanic-inspired porcelain sculpture by Avital Avital.

A botanic-inspired porcelain sculpture by Avital Avital.

A botanic-inspired porcelain sculpture by Avital Avital.

A botanic-inspired porcelain sculpture by Avital Avital.

Botanic-inspired porcelain sculptures by Avital Avital.

A botanic-inspired porcelain sculpture by Avital Avital.






Speckled, Crackled, and Kintsugi Sheets of Ceramic Cloak Lisa Agnetun’s Tiny Spirited Ghosts

November 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of miniature ceramic ghosts

All images © Lisa Agnetun, shared with permission

“They’re very much like people,” says Lisa Agnetun (previously) about her adorably spirited figures. “Except for the fact that high-fired ceramics has the ability to outlive us all. If you treat them respectfully, they will haunt you forever.”

The Gothenburg, Sweden-based ceramicist crafts tiny apparitions with endlessly unique personalities. All wear bedsheet-style disguises, although they’re crafted from different clays, fired at varying temperatures, and covered in glazes that range from matte neutral tones to sleek, vibrant speckles. The artist shares that the characters have gained weight recently and their eyes have widened, and some of the spectral forms have even been fractured and scarred with glimmering gold Kintsugi.

Agnetun plans to update her Etsy shop next on November 25, so keep an eye on her Instagram for details on that release, especially since the tiny apparitions seem to disappear within minutes.


A photo of miniature ceramic ghosts with Kintsugi

A photo of miniature ceramic ghosts

Four photos of miniature ceramic ghosts

A photo of miniature ceramic ghosts

A photo of miniature ceramic ghosts, some serving as vases for flowers

A photo of miniature ceramic ghosts




Gloopy Drips Trickle from Playful Ceramic Vessels by Philip Kupferschmidt

October 31, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Philip Kupferschmidt, shared with permission

Wide, playful grins and freckled snouts peek through the drippy exteriors of Philip Kupferschmidt’s ceramic vessels. The Orange County based-artist is known for his slouching vases and mugs effuse with beads of clay, which appear suspended in a liquid state as they ooze and trickle down the walls of each vessel.

After throwing on the wheel, Kupferschmidt pushes, bends, and pulls the pieces into their final amorphous forms, sometimes letting the material dry slightly first for easier manipulation. The artist then applies numerous drops and globs by hand and treats each to a meticulous glazing process he’s developed throughout his career, ensuring that no two pieces are alike.

In addition to his signature dribbled textures, collaboration is also a key part of Kupferschmidt’s practice. The expressive works with faces shown here were made with Calvin Wong, and the artist just shared a new series with Faye Hadfield. You can add some of his functional and decorative pieces to your own collection by checking out his shop and following updates on new releases on Instagram.




Art Craft

Organic Features and Textures Cloak Carol Long’s Sculptures in Natural Embellishments

October 23, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Carol Long, shared with permission

Melding the decadence of Art Nouveau and the whimsy of Alice in Wonderland, artist Carol Long (previously) transforms humble clay vessels with an array of small spheres, curled handles, and densely laid stripes. Her ornamental works begin with simple, wheel-thrown shapes that are pushed, bent, and warped into swelling forms evocative of organic material or more representational subject matter like a deer or mushroom. Long then uses slip trailing and an elaborate glazing process to add a staggering amount of embellishment to the amorphous sculptures, mimicking the patterns, textures, and colors found throughout the natural world.

The Kansas-based artist will be presenting at Clay Con West this January, and you can follow her latest works and news about available pieces on Instagram.




Art Craft History

A New Book Explores the Practices of 38 Black Ceramicists Working Across Generations to Define the Medium

September 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

Morel Doucet, “Skin Congregate on the Eve of Every Mountain” (2019), slip-cast porcelain with decals. Photo by David Gary Lloyd, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Myrtis

Ceramics is both versatile and enduring, allowing for myriad aesthetic sensibilities, degrees of functionality, and the ability to last lifetimes. A new book published by Schiffer Craft gathers the practices of 38 Black Americans who have harnessed the broad potential of clay as they explore various aspects of history, politics, craft, and culture.

Ranging from the colonial east coast and the Harlem Renaissance to the current century, Contemporary Black American Ceramic Artists compiles interviews, photos, and short essays into an expansive, diverse survey. In addition to artists working today like Morel Doucet (previously), Chotsani Elaine Dean, and Danielle Carelock, the book also recounts earlier generations who used the medium as a catalyst for their creative practices. Augusta Savage (1892-1962), for example, is known for translating the humanity of her subjects into figurative clay forms. She also went on to found the Savage Studio for Arts and Crafts in 1930s New York and helped secure funding for her students as part of the Works Progress Administration.

The book also recognizes the contributions of nearly 200 ceramicists who were enslaved and working in commercial potteries in Edgefield, South Carolina. Among those is David Drake, who is thought to have produced more than 100,000 stoneware vessels throughout his lifetime.

Contemporary Black American Ceramic Artists, written by donald a clark and Chotsani Elaine Dean, is currently available for pre-order on Bookshop.


Morel Doucet. Image © David Gary Lloyd

Paul S. Briggs, “Double Cuttle” (2011), stoneware, glaze, 12 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist

Chotsani Elaine Dean, “Plantation Sugar Jar: ‘for Chloe Spears’ (1750-1815),” (2019), porcelain and paper clay, 5.5 x 3.5 x 3.75 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist

Danielle Carelock, “Foliage Mugs,” earthenware, hand-painted luster overglaze, 2 × 4 inches. Photo courtesy of Saltstone Ceramics

Keith Wallace Smith, “Dream Dancer” (2009), porcelain, terra-cotta, and rope, 21 × 13 × 17 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist



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.