ceramics

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Art Craft

A Thick Braid Cascades Down a Marina Abramović-Inspired Porcelain Collection

April 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Aylin Bilgiç

Despite lacking any distinct facial features, porcelain figures by Istanbul-based ceramicist Aylin Bilgiç have one unmistakable, defining characteristic: The lengthy braid resting on their oversized bodies evokes performance artist Marina Abramović, who is known for donning similarly styled locks. In another of Bilgiç’s pieces, two heads are back-to-back with their hair wound together, resembling Abramović’s 1978 collaboration with Uwe Laysiepen.

The monochromatic collection was designed specifically for Akış / Flux, an exhibition surveying Abramović’s work and offering 15 live performances. It is now on hold because of the global coronavirus pandemic. If you’d like to purchase one of the figurative pieces or a square pin, they’ll only be available in Sakıp Sabancı Museum’s shop, although they aren’t online just yet. See more of Bilgiç’s work on Behance and Instagram.

 

 



Craft Design

Assemblages of Found Florals Imprinted on Ceramic Mugs and Plates by Hessa Al Ajmani

March 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Hessa Al Ajmani

Artist Hessa Al Ajmani often gathers small flowers and fronds from her mother’s garden. She brings the floral arrangements to her home studio, where she presses the groupings onto her earthenware and stoneware pieces, leaving simple and realistic imprints. Based in Ajman in the United Arab Emirates, the artist uses some plaster molds and stamps she creates herself, although each piece is hand-built, preventing any two from being exactly alike. Before firing, she peels off the greenery and petals, revealing the small grooves and divots that she later paints.

Because Al Aljmani doesn’t use a wheel, her pieces typically take hours, or even days, to finish. “I’ve been playing with all sorts of clay (air-drying, polymer, earthenware) since I was a child. I learned how to work with it professionally in university, but didn’t pick up the practice until about a year ago,” she said on her site. “I had to re-teach myself all the basics and do endless tests with clay consistency, form, texture, firings, etc.”

Shaping each ceramic piece and layering the found florals is therapeutic, the artist says, because it requires patience and has fostered an acceptance of and appreciation for imperfection. “My ceramic work speaks of my memories of home and the process of self-healing. Through imprints of flower, leaves, and patterns, it invokes a sense of nostalgia and the idea of home as a space of free thought and personal growth,” she said.

In addition to her own practice, the artist founded the Clay Corner Studio in 2019, which offers ceramics and painting classes. To watch Al Ajmani’s process, check out her Instagram and see which pieces she has available for purchase in her shop.

 

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Craft

Faces Emerge from Minimalist Ceramics by Fan Yanting to Consider Emotional Depth

February 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Fan Yanting

Just like a recent study reporting that facial expressions are more complex than we think, Fan Yanting wants to delve into the sentiment behind the scowl or smirk on a stranger’s face. The Taiwanese artist shapes small vessels and dinnerware in neutral tones that don a series of emotions, from an unsmiling vase to a set of defensive mugs. Only starting to create ceramics during the last year, Fan hand-sculpts each set of eyes, nose, and mouth without deciding which emotion he’s trying to capture beforehand. “I empty my mind when I’m sculpting the human faces. I might plan the pottery shape and maybe where I’d like to position the face, but I don’t start with specific character designs in mind,” the artist tells Neocha.

Fan’s focus on expressions derives from how he sees human relationships, saying people often respond to those around them by projecting their own understandings of what a facial expression signifies. “Maybe a face will remind someone of an old friend, a family member, or the coffee shop owner down the street. By leading viewers to experience everyday items that have different faces, I hope to explore this phenomenon in my work,” the artist says. To see which emotion pops up next, head to Instagram. (via Lustik)

 

 



Art Craft

Minimalist Ceramics by Amy Victoria Marsh Exude Positivity and Playfulness

February 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Happy Poo,” stoneware clay, underglaze, and transparent glaze, extra large 7 x 7 centimeters, large 5 x 5, regular 4 x 3.5, small 3 x 3. All images © Amy Victoria Marsh

Relying on a simple color palette, Amy Victoria Marsh crafts minimalist ceramics meant to inspire positivity and humor. The Manchester-based artist creates playful pieces ranging from supine women reading to others wrapped up on a sushi bed to her “Happy Poo” collection. Her pastel fortune cookie even comes in an illustrated package with an uplifting saying stuffed inside.

Marsh tells It’s Nice That that much of her lighthearted work has been inspired by a 2016 visit to Japan. “From the typography found everywhere, to the personification of most objects, the Japanese have a unique take on design, which I find hugely inspiring,” she said. Her love for all things tiny, though, began during her childhood. “I was madly into toys such as Polly Pocket and Sylvanian Families and loved looking at illustrated stamps,” she said. “Looking back at my childhood it’s no wonder I’m making some of the work I am today!”

Pick up one of the artist’s cute miniatures in her plastic-free shop, and head to Instagram to see what she creates next.

“Book Worm Chill Ornament,” stoneware clay, underglaze, ceramic pencil, and transparent glaze, 10 x 7 x 7 centimeters

“Love Ceramic Fortune Cookie,” stoneware clay, underglaze, transparent glaze, and paper, 5 x 3 centimeters

“Tamago Feelings,” regular 3.5 x 4.5 x 3 centimeters, small 4 x 2 x 2

“Sake set,” stoneware clay, food and drink safe

“Pink Fluffy Jumper Ornament,” stoneware clay, underglazes, ceramic pencil, and transparent glaze, approximately 11 x 7 x 7 centimeters

“*Seconds* Sushi Lady Ornament,” stoneware glaze, underglazes, and transparent glaze, approximately 6 x 2.5 x 3 centimeters

“Happy Small Cup,” stoneware clay, glaze, ceramic pencil, all cups are food safe

 

 



Design

Up To 29 Porcelain Layers Molded into Elegant Tableware by Yuting Chang

January 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Yuting Chang

Chicago-based designer Yuting Chang has conceived of a way to build the traditional blue and white pigments often found on porcelain into the very structure of her ceramics. Through slip casting, a process in which the artist can switch between colors within the mold, Chang is able to incorporate up to 29 alternately pigmented layers that are visible on cut surfaces. Rather than use a glaze to add different shades once the basic shape of her mugs and saucers are complete, Chang’s pieces only show their colors on the rims and edges, revealing the interior. The artist crafts each handle and saucer feet through slip-casting, before attaching them by hand to the main portion of the ceramic piece. She appropriately named her work Plycelain, a reference to how plywood is constructed with layers of compressed wood.

“Blue-and-white ware is the most classical and influential type of Chinese porcelain but these days it is largely slip-cast, with the decorative motifs applied by transfer-printing,” the artist told Dezeen. “I wanted to utilize this mass production technique, meant to create large quantities of standardized products, while keeping the authenticity and individuality of the craftsmanship spirit.” For more of Chang’s inventive designs, head to her Instagram.

 

 



Craft

Countless Hand-Scored Notches Comprise Aquatic Sculptures by Lisa Stevens

January 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Lisa Stevens, shared with permission

From her home studio near Bristol, Lisa Stevens designs heavily detailed sculptures that mimic sea life and natural elements. Her small bowls are complete with ridges and plant-like protrusions, while her organ-shaped sculptures are teeming with seemingly endless dots and scores that imitate coral reefs, flowers, minerals, moss, and lichen. Formerly a sculptor for Aardman Animations, Stevens forgoes stamps, texture sheets, or molds to craft each mark with a small set of tools, ensuring no pieces are identical. Most of her works are made of high-fired porcelain clay that becomes translucent when light shines through it. The sculptor often uses stoneware glazes, underglaze, or melted glass to finish her pieces with vibrant pigments.

Stevens said in an artist’s statement that she intends “to highlight the issues that human activity has on the environment. Small differences in each of our behaviours can add up to make a big difference.” More of Steven’s geologically inspired sculptures can be found on Instagram, and some are even available for purchase on Etsy.