ceramics

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Art Food

Takeout Containers and Worn Sketchbooks by Artist Yoonmi Nam Explore the Permanence of Everyday Disposables

July 27, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Sketchbook (small #10)” (2019), porcelain, cobalt slip inlay, and glaze, .75 x 8.5 x 6.25 inches. All images courtesy of Paradigm Gallery, shared with permission

A kitchen table, countertop, or cluttered desk are all likely spots to encounter a piece by South Korean artist Yoonmi Nam. Encompassing ceramic sculptures and sparse lithographs, Nam’s body of work evokes “an ever-present, yet always changing still life,” one that displays the ubiquitous objects of her everyday in more permanent forms. A deep well to hold a bouquet carves out a stack of porcelain take-out containers, minimal prints depict a leafy branch resting in a fast-food cup, and splayed sketchbooks are covered with graph paper-style inlays that appear punctured, leaving frayed ends and stray lines.

Nam’s subject matter, whether a disposable container or notebook with a cracked cover, always has a limited lifespan, a recurring theme that tethers each of the works to questions about ephemerality and value. The artist elaborates in a statement:

I am drawn to man-made spaces and objects that we surround ourselves with, especially when they subtly suggest a contradicting sense of time that seems both temporary and lasting. In the arranged flower imagery, the flowers, once cut from their roots, have only a short remaining time to live. They will quickly wither and die, but before they do, they are elegantly and elaborately arranged, as if time will stand still for them. The containers that hold them are disposable objects, such as a yogurt cup, a Styrofoam take-out box, and an instant noodle bowl. These throwaway objects and cut flowers engage in a dialogue that speaks about impermanence and persistence.

Nam has a few ceramic pieces and lithographs available from Paradigm Gallery in Philadelphia, and some of her new delivery box-inspired sculptures are on view as part of 2021 Kansas City Flatfile + Digitalfile, which runs through October 14 at the Kansas City Art Institute. You also can explore a larger selection of her works on Instagram.

 

“Cairn Vase (large #2) ” (2019), porcelain and white glaze, 10.5 x 4.5 x 4.75 inches

Left: “Cairn Vase (small #1)” (2019), porcelain and clear glaze, 6.75 x 4.5 x 4.75 inches. Right: “Cairn Vase (large #2) ” (2019), porcelain and white glaze, 10.5 x 4.5 x 4.75 inches

“Cairn Vase (small #1)” (2019), porcelain and clear glaze, 6.75 x 4.5 x 4.75 inches

Detail of “Sketchbook (small #9)” (2019), porcelain, cobalt slip inlay, and glaze, .75 x 8.5 x 6.25 inches

“Sketchbook (small #4)” (2019), porcelain, underglaze inlay, and glaze, .75 x 8.5 x 6.25

Left: “Winstead’s” (2018), lithograph, 33 x 18 inches. Right: “M” (2018), lithograph, 33 x 18 inches

Detail of “Sketchbook (small #3)” (2019), porcelain, underglaze inlay, and glaze, .75 x 8.5 x 6.25 inches

“Sketchbook (small #3)” (2019), porcelain, underglaze inlay, and glaze, .75 x 8.5 x 6.25 inches

 

 



Art

An Eclectic Group Exhibition Brings Together Contemporary Interpretations of the Archetypal Vessel

July 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

CHIAOZZA, “Bouquet Sculpture No. 2” (2021), acrylic paint on paper pulp, 36 x 23 x 9 inches. All images courtesy of Hashimoto Contemporary, shared with permission

A group exhibition at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco offers a new perspective on the enduring legacy of the vessel as both standalone object and motif. Spanning ceramic vases, oil-based works on canvas, and sculptures made of paper pulp, the show explores the myriad ways the ubiquitous container has appeared throughout art history and how two dozen artists working today interpret the classic form. Included are the minimal, ritualistic paintings by Laura Berger (previously), Stephanie Shih’s sleek Molotov cocktail inscribed with a strikingly hopeful message, and Katie Kimmel’s zany dogs. We’ve gathered some of our favorite works below, and stop by the gallery before Vessel closes on July 31 to see them in person.

 

Laura Berger, “Vessel 1” (2021), oil on canvas, 42 x 32 inches

Left: Munisa, “La bonga de la vida ‘Josefina'” (2021), clay, wire, and glaze, 18 x 11 x 6 inches. Right: Stephanie Shih, “Molotov Cocktail (A Better World Is Possible)” (2021), 10 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches

Leif Zikade, “Emergence” (2021), acrylic yarn, 24.5 x 16.5 inches

Hilda Palafox, “Cosecha” (2021), high temperature ceramics, 12 x 12 x 12 inches

Left: Katie Kimmel, “Nosferatu vase” (2021), ceramic, 13 x 7 x 3.4 inches. Right: Katie Kimmel, “Camelot vase” (2021), ceramic, 11 x 6 x 3.4 inches

Lorien Stern, “Ready for the Afterparty” (2021), ceramic, 14 x 14.25 x 8.5 inches

 

 



Art Craft

Delicate Cross-Cut Pods Encase Seeds and Other Fruitful Forms in Porcelain

June 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Sally Kent and photographer Matthew Stanton, shared with permission

Melbourne-based artist Sally Kent visualizes the fleeting processes found in nature in her fragile porcelain pods. Cross-cut to reveal an inner seed, flower, or other fruitful organisms, the ceramic works compare the inner life-producing forms that are teeming with color and texture with their stark, smooth shells.

Each piece, which ranges from just a few inches to about a foot, is composed of individual patterns, whether through minuscule orbs or with thin strips of ceramic hung from the outer edges. This use of repetition is a form of embodiment, Kent says, because it evokes the cycles that produce and sustain all life, no matter the species or age. “Each pod begins with an egg form—an archetypal symbol of the cycle of life, death, and renewal, but it also acts as a shell to delineate and protect, albeit fragile, the seen (physical body) and the unseen (the spiritual and emotional world),” she shares.

If you’re in Sydney, you can see Kent’s Protection series, which includes human hands and busts embellished with mythological details, during the first weekend of August at House of Chu. Until then, dive into her process and see more of her hand-built works on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Innumerable Pieces of Dyed Clay Envelop Meditative Sculptures in Subtle Patterns and Gradients

June 7, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Clements Shade” (2020), porcelain ,29.5 x 16 x 43 centimetres. Photo by Mark Robson. All images © Alice Walton, shared with permission

Thin ribbons of porcelain ripple across the surfaces of Alice Walton’s abstract sculptures. Gently sloped domes and pillars are covered in countless individual strips, which vary in thickness and length and add irregular texture and depth to the finished pieces. “Every mark I make, whether this be a tool mark or a fingerprint, are preserved in the firing and are not covered or coated or inhibited by a glaze,” the artist writes. “I want the viewer to be able to look at my sculptures from afar and to have one perception of the surface (and) then want to explore closer. On a nearer inspection, the surface decoration reveals layers of multiple colours and time spent through process.”

Focusing on the meditative qualities of repetition, Walton combines pastels and vibrant Earth tones to evoke the sights of her surrounding environment and travels. “The vividly painted sun-bleached street walls and the monsoon-drenched temples, to me, instantly resembled the dry powdery palette of coloured clays,” she shares about a visit to Rajasthan, India. Her choices in pigment still revolve around what she sees on a daily basis—these range from old maps to the seasonal landscapes nearby her studio in Somerset, U.K.—that result in undulating stripes or bold gradients composed with more than 40 colors in “Clements Shade.”

At the 2019 British Ceramics Biennial, Walton was awarded a residency with Wedgwood, where she’s currently working on a new series of sculptural vessels made from the English company’s traditional Jasper clay. Those pieces will be shown at the 2021 biennial in September. She’ll also have work at London’s Chelsea Design Centre from June 22 to 29 and at MAKE Hauser & Wirth Somerset in November. Until then, explore more of her sculptures on her site and Instagram. (via Seth Rogan)

 

“Clements Shade” (2020), porcelain, 29.5 x 16 x 43 centimeters. Photo by Mark Robson

Detail of “Avonvale Mapping” (2020), colored porcelain. Photo by Alice Walton

“Avon Ribbons” (2020), colored porcelain, 30.5 x 28 x 28 centimeters. Photo by Alice Walton

Detail of “Janta Grove.” Photo by Sylvain Deleu

“Vale Ribbons” (2020), colored porcelain, 18.5 x 10.5 x 22 centimeters. Photo by Alice Walton

“Ley Line Pair” (2021), porcelain, 14 x 14 x 31 centimeters and 14 x 14 x 31 centimeters. Photo by Mark Robson

Detail of “Avonvale Mapping” (2020), colored porcelain. Photo by Alice Walton

“Avon Strata,” wall-mountable colored porcelain, 48.5 x 48.5 x 1.5 centimeters. Photo by Alice Walton

 

 



Art Craft

Technicolor Chunks and Drips Trickle Down Textured Ceramic Vessels Sculpted by Brian Rochefort

May 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Paint Can 8” (2019), ceramic, glaze, glass fragments, 12 × 12 × 11 inches. All images © Brian Rochefort, by Marten Elder, courtesy of MASSIMODECARLO, shared with permission

Bulging hunks of glaze and smooth, speckled drips flow from Brian Rochefort’s chunky ceramic sculptures. The Los Angeles-based artist continues his signature abstract style in a newer series of paint cans and oozing vessels, many of which resemble the crusty remnants of volcanic eruptions. Rochefort builds each piece from a combination of clay, glaze, and glass fragments through multiple rounds of firing in the kiln. The final assemblages are literally overflowing with speckles, gloopy lumps, and delicately cracked patches all layered in a kaleidoscope of color and texture.

In a note to Colossal, the artist describes his process as multi-faceted with a diverse array of influences that range from visual to intellectual and historical. The most important, though, are from travel and experiences outside of his studio or gallery spaces. “My work is generated from numerous trips to remote areas in Latin America and Africa such as the Bolivian Amazon, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia. I think of myself as an authentic abstract artist and place importance behind the criticality of experiencing these environments in person,” he says.

Rochefort’s sculptures are on view at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles through June 26, and you can follow his drippy works on Instagram.

 

“Paint Can 6” (2020), ceramic, glaze, glass fragments, 12 × 11 × 11 inches

“Paint Can 7” (2020), ceramic, glaze, glass fragments, 12 × 13 × 11 inches

Detail of “Fiery Dawn” (2020), ceramic, glaze, glass fragments, 22 × 20 × 22 inches

“Rocksteady” (2020), ceramic, glaze, glass fragments, 24 × 23 × 21 inches

Left: Right: “Paint Can 1” (2020), ceramic, glaze, glass fragments, 11 × 11 × 9 inches

“Paint Can 3” (2020), ceramic, glaze, 12 × 11 × 11 inches

Top left: “Rarity” (2020), ceramic, glaze, glass fragments, 21 × 21 × 22 inches. Top right: “Supervolcano” (2020), ceramic, glaze, glass fragments, 21 × 21 × 20 inches. Bottom left: “Fiery Dawn” (2020), ceramic, glaze, glass fragments, 22 × 20 × 22 inches. Bottom right: “Captain Planet” (2020), ceramic, glaze, glass fragments, 24 × 22 × 20 inches

Detail of “Rocksteady” (2020), ceramic, glaze, glass fragments, 24 × 23 × 21 inches

 

 



Art Craft

Colorful Glazes Coat Exquisite Vessels Sculpted with Smooth Sloping Porcelain

May 24, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Sophie Cook, shared with permission. Photo by Josephine Cottrell for Maud and Mabel

Sophie Cook sculpts delicate porcelain into teardrops, bottles, and pods with swollen bases and long bowed necks. Often evoking the colors of the Suffolk landscape surrounding her studio, the elegant vessels have smooth exteriors coated in matte and glossy glazes that range from coral to graphite and sage. The pieces vary in height and width and are designed to be displayed in groups as “a three-dimensional still life,” she says in a statement.

Cook’s practice is meticulous and regimented—watch the short video below to see her at the wheel—and frequently results in loss, which she describes:

Every piece is a challenge to make as porcelain is such a fluid medium on the wheel. I throw four pieces a day, which are left to dry for two days and are then carved to refine the shape. Once sprayed they dry for a week. It is an incredibly delicate process. Rarely, if ever, do all four pieces survive the carving and firing processes.

Browse available vessels in Cook’s shop, and follow her work on Instagram.

 

Photo by Layton Thompson for Ceramic Review

Photo by Josephine Cottrell for Maud and Mabel

Photo by Josephine Cottrell for Maud and Mabel