At once minimal and endlessly confounding, the elegant ceramic vessels that Matthew Chambers (previously) creates are precisely scaled iterations of the same shape. His hypnotic sculptures are comprised of individual, wheel-thrown pieces in varying sizes that are embedded within a larger form. Each abstract work is unique in color and position, sometimes displaying single monochromatic rings at incongruent angles or striped colors flush in alignment.
In a note to Colossal, Chambers says his most recent pieces are an experiment in allowing the inner pattern to pop from the outer vessel. “The process is essentially the reverse of how most of my other forms are made, and it’s still very much in the early stages of working it out,” he says. “I’ve also started making some upright vessel forms where the circles twist around the outside of the form from top to bottom, but again these are still very much in the early stages.”
Chambers, who’s based in St. Lawrence on the Isle of Wight, has amassed an extensive archive in the last few years, which you can dive into on his site and Instagram. If you’re in London., you can see some of his pieces on view now at Alveston Fine Art and this February with Cavaliero Finn at Collect Art Fair. He’ll also show works this coming July at Cornwall’s New Craftsman Gallery.
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Kent-based ceramicist Kate Malone mimics the plaited texture of a basket with her series of woven vessels. The wide-mouthed vases and small, covered boxes are wrapped in rolled strips of clay that the artist threads through small gashes in the surface of the pot. Long, vertical bars structure the braided effect, which wraps horizontally around each form. “Initially inspired by passementerie, baskets, and all things woven, for this series, I intended to imitate a woven surface on my ceramics. My practice is to create a core shape, then decorate the surface,” she says.
Malone tells Colossal that she gravitates toward crystalline glazes in greens, blues, and a warm honey tone, although she’s started to incorporate bright base materials in her most recent pieces. “These glazes tend to run down the surface and combine, which prevents the creation of neat horizontal lines, so the pre-colored clays are an attempt to keep surface color in place,” she says.
In addition to the twisted pieces shown here, Malone’s body of work comprises ceramic pieces in a variety of textures and shapes, which you can see at Adrian Sasson where she is represented. Head to Instagram for a look at her studio and a deeper dive into her practice.
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Birmingham, U.K.-based artist Zoë Hillyard revitalizes shattered vases and bowls by melding traditional craft techniques. She wraps a mishmash of vintage silks and fabrics around individual ceramic shards, binding the broken pieces with tightly stitched thread. Appearing glazed with antique florals and other ornate motifs, the patchwork forms contrast the original shape of the pottery with the newly mended exterior, a reconfigured finish that’s commonly disrupted by missing pieces and jagged edges.
Gathering the source materials from ceramicists’ reject piles or by receiving broken family heirlooms for commissions, Hillyard works with the initial shape and purpose in mind. She says:
Like archaeological treasures, they display imperfections in the form of holes and irregularity, and all the more interesting for them. Each piece is unique in terms of the combinations of materials used, the pattern of breakage, the impact of colour and print and aesthetic decisions made during reconstruction.
Hillyard’s body of work is replete with metaphorical and physical tension and contrast between the old and new. Although the pieces appear delicate and light like the fabrics that envelop their sides, they retain the heftiness and weight of clay and are warmer to the touch than a porcelain vessel, for example. “Most surprisingly, they often have a subtle flex, disconcerting when contrasted with traditional ‘solid’ forms of ceramic repair,” the artist shares. “I enjoy these ambiguities, with the work challenging expectations and conventional definitions.”
In addition to her practice, Hillyard teaches textile design at Birmingham City University. She currently has pieces at Contemporary Applied Arts in London and will show new works in June 2022 at The Pool House Gallery in Gloucestershire. Until then, explore more of her process and mended projects on Instagram. (via Women’s Art)
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Meticulous Sculptures by Artist Carol Long Highlight the Curved Lines and Colorful Embellishments Found in Nature
Honoring the humble shape of the vessel is at the center of Carol Long’s practice. From her studio in rural Kansas, the artist throws simple ceramic cylinders that she contorts into supple butterfly wings, curved chrysalises, or vases with embellished handles.“When it comes off the potter’s wheel, that’s just the beginning,” she tells Colossal. “I usually sit for a second and look at the piece and see which way I can push it out or in.”
The resulting forms are evocative of both flora and fauna and traditional pottery, although Long’s sculptures emphasize smooth, sinuous walls and squiggly bases rather than angled edges. She uses slip trailing to add tactile decorative elements to the piece like small spheres, handles, or raised linework. “The relationship between the glazes that are inside the vectors, the shapes made by the slip trailing, are really important in how they’re divided and how they sit next to each other,” she says, noting that the process is particularly meticulous because it involves applying the material to each intricate, ribbed pattern and delicate outline.
Whether a vase or wide-mouthed jar, the whimsical sculptures are brimming with color and textured details. “I love the flowing lines, and I love the idea of framing a picture on my pots. A lot of times I have a focal point like an animal or insect and then I’ve framed it with other designs,” the artist says.
Long is hosting an annual open house at her studio next month and will show a body of work at Charlie Cummings Gallery in July of 2022. Until then, shop available pieces on Etsy—she also has an update slated for mid-December—and follow her latest pieces on Instagram. (via Women’s Art)
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Two new site-specific pieces by Courtney Mattison (previously) position ceramic sculptures of corals, sponges, and anemones in a swirling cluster of ocean diversity. Titled “Revolve” and “Our Changing Seas VII,” the wall reliefs are the latest additions to the Los Angeles-based artist’s body of work, which advocates for ecological preservation by highlighting the beauty and fragile nature of marine invertebrates.
In both installations, Mattison contrasts the vibrant, plump tentacles of healthy creatures with others sculpted in white porcelain to convey the devastating effects of the climate crisis, including widespread bleaching. Her recurring subject matter is becoming increasingly urgent, considering recent reports that estimate that 14 percent of the world’s coral population has been lost in the last decade alone.
Each of the lifeforms is hand-built and pocked with minuscule grooves and textured elements—she shares this meticulous process on Instagram—and once complete, the individual sculptures are assembled in sweeping compositions that radiate outward in shifting gradients. “Water connects us all, from the lush banks of Lawsons Fork Creek to the icy glaciers of the Arctic and glittering reefs of Southeast Asia. Life on Earth is dependent on healthy oceans,” she shares about “Revolve.” “The swirling design of this work is inspired by these connections and patterns, with revolving forms repeated in nature through hurricanes, seashells, ocean waves, and galaxies.”
Mattison’s solo exhibition Turn the Tide is on view at Highfield Hall & Gardens in Massachusetts through October 31 before it travels to the New Bedford Whaling Museum, where it will be through May 1, 2022. You explore a larger archive of the artist’s marine works on Behance and her site.
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From Canine Ceramics to Abstract Constructions, a Group Show Opens Hashimoto Contemporary’s Los Angeles Space
Ranging from Dan Lam’s drippy, neon blobs (previously) to the minimal, bodily paintings of Laura Berger (previously), an inaugural exhibition at Hashimoto Contemporary highlights a diverse array of pieces from two dozen artists working today. The group show launches the gallery’s new space in Culver City and situates Katie Kimmel’s animated ceramic pups (previously) alongside Augustine Kofie’s geometric abstractions and the graffitied scenes by Jessica Hess. If you’re in Los Angeles, you can see the works in person through October 2—keep an eye on Hashimoto’s site for upcoming exhibitions at the new location—and find some of our favorites below.
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Editor's Picks: Craft
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.