ceramics

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Art

Dreamlike Sculptures by Christina Bothwell Meld Ceramic, Glass, and Oil Paint into Otherworldly Figures

January 24, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Two Violets.” All images © Christina Bothwell, shared with permission

From her Pennsylvania studio, Christina Bothwell (previously) sculpts surreal hybrid creatures and figures that occupy the unearthly space between dreams and wakefulness. She works with a combination of annealed glass, pit-fired ceramics, oil paint, and small mosaic tiles, which each correspond to a conceptual element. “I always come back to the idea that the physical part of us is just a small part of who we are in our entirety,” the artist tells Colossal. “The translucent parts of my pieces are meant to suggest the soul or that part of us that is more than just our bodies.  The ceramic portions of my pieces represent our grounded, tangible parts.”

In her most recent body of work, Bothwell continues her explorations into the liminal and states of flux: a slumbering child appears to float from its sleeping counterpart in “Lucid Dream,” while another lies upside down in “Mood Swing.” Many of the sculptures are tinged with themes of magic, imagination, and escapism, which are reflected in the ways that human bodies meld with birds, monkeys, octopuses, and deer. She explains:

I was a sensitive child with eccentric parents who didn’t fit in. I didn’t even fit in with my family a lot of the time. It was like I was a changeling or an alien they were forced to live with. I felt like an outsider for most of my life, and it always felt precarious, unsafe, being who I was. For this reason, I think I identify with deer… despite their beauty and grace, they are not protected or valued (at least not where I live), and their vulnerability and innocence resonates with something deep within me.

Bothwell’s fantastical works will be on view at Habatat Gallery and Muskegon Museum of Art as part of the upcoming Beyond the Glass Ceiling, Influential Women in Glass exhibition and again this summer at Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee. Until then, explore more of her sculptures on Instagram.

 

“Simian Dream”

“Lucid Dream”

“Snail”

“Little Deer”

“Mood Swing”

“Speak No Evil See No Evil Hear No Evil”

Left: “Here and Now.” Right: “Safe Haven”

“Dream State”

Top: “New Sunday.” Bottom left: “Tea with Cows.” Bottom right: “Tea Party”

 

 



Art

Ceramic Figurines by Claire Partington Put a Contemporary Twist on Historical Symbols

January 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Claire Partington, shared with permission

Citing traditional portraiture and figurative ceramics, London-based artist Claire Partington (previously) sculpts grand characters with a dose of contemporary wit: Lavishly outfitted women lose their heads to anthropomorphized octopuses, a flip flop-wearing fairy dozes alongside empty beer bottles, and sneakers and a cellphone lie next to “Sleeping Beauty.” Infused with mythological symbols and references to folklore, the delicate figurines meld history and culture across time periods and prompt questions about interpretation and narrative.

Many of the pieces shown here are included in Partington’s solo exhibition En Plein Air, which is on view from  February 2 to March 19 at Winston Wächter Fine Art in Seattle and coincides with the release of Historical Fiction, a monograph spanning ten years of her career. Until then, explore more of her subversive figures on her site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft

Tiny Faces Animate Minimal Mugs and Planters by Ceramicist Rami Kim

January 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Rami Kim

Enjoy the company of Rami Kim’s minimally sculpted personalities emerging from her footed planters, mugs, and other ceramic pieces. The artist and animator (previously), who gravitates toward bright monochromatic finishes and simple patterns, creates a wide array of vessels featuring perfectly round eyes, tiny mouths, and noses that add a dose of whimsy and play to her functional objects.

See more of Kim’s works, check for stockists near you, and shop available pieces on her site, and keep an eye on her Instagram for announcements about sales and opportunities to visit her Los Angeles studio. You also might enjoy Fan Yanting’s moody characters.

 

 

 



Art

Meticulously Detailed Ceramics by Kaori Kurihara Concoct Fantastical New Fruits

January 3, 2022

Anna Marks

All images © Kaori Kurihara, shared with permission

Japanese artist Kaori Kurihara (previously) creates otherworldly fruit-like ceramics that appear as though they have sprouted in a magical rainforest or exist in a children’s book. Kurihara’s sculptures take a creative spin on the shapes and textures found in thistles, tropical fare, and other fruits. One of her pieces, for example, resembles a purple durian with a brown seed-like head, while another is textured like pineapple and equipped with a top evoking an artichoke.

Kurihara studies the geometric repetition found in edible botanicals and reproduces their repeating patterns in similar ceramic forms, often enhancing their color. Each piece is delicately and meticulously crafted, and Kurihara first constructs the base then adds the details, sculpting patterns into the main shape using her hands and a series of tools.

The artist studied pottery at SEIKA University in Kyoto in addition to jewelry making in France, where she learned enameling techniques that she now uses when creating her sculptures. To view more of her work, visit her site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft

Melding Two Crafts, Caroline Harrius Embroiders Ceramic Vessels

December 31, 2021

Anna Marks

All images © Caroline Harrius, shared with permission

Stockholm-based ceramicist Caroline Harrius (previously) embroiders vases with floral patterns that explore the relationships between gender and craft and decoration and purpose. Distorting perceptions, the delicate pieces appear as though Harrius wrapped stitched fibers around a glazed vessel, or in a parallel manner, sculpted fabric to mimic a curved form.

Harrius punctures the shiny, semi-functional vases with holes and then pulls through threads to produce patterns and floral motifs that explore gender norms and hierarchies in craft history, specifically focusing on those typically associated with women. Her works reevaluate artistic techniques as she takes both pottery and embroidery out of their traditional contexts, combines, and then reimagines them, stretching the boundary of each craft. This results in unexpected pieces that prompt viewers to question perception and textures (i.e. whether a ceramic could “feel” soft and fibrous like fabric or whether a needle and thread are robust enough to puncture through clay.)

To view more of Harrius’s stitched vessels, visit her site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Waves of Engraved Lines Texture the Emotional Figures Sculpted by En Iwamura

December 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © En Iwamura, courtesy of Ross + Kramer Gallery, shared with permission

From hunks of clay, artist En Iwamura (previously) sculpts minimal forms with wildly varied facial expressions that range from shock and surprise to moody contemplation. Etched across the surface of each character are neat pathways of parallel lines, which evoke the clean, sweeping patterns in zen gardens, that are a physical manifestation of the Japanese concept of Ma. The philosophy identifies “the space between the edges, between the beginning and the end, the space and time in which we experience life. Ma is filled with nothing but energy and feeling.”

Although his aesthetic and process remain relatively consistent—Iwarmura is generous about sharing works-in-progress and studio shots on his Instagram—his approach to spatial questions continues to evolve. “My work size has physically got bigger,” he tells Colossal. “That can have (a) different relationship with Ma, either micro (or) macro.”

Iwamura is currently living in Shiga near his hometown of Kyoto, and if you’re in New York, you can see his oversized faces in January at Ross + Kramer Gallery.

 

 

 

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