porcelain

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Art

Hundreds of Porcelain Layers Recreate 20th Century Technologies in Intricate Sculptures by Anne Butler

May 4, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Analogue” (2016). Photo by Vizz Creative. All images © Anne Butler, shared with permission

Artist Anne Butler cites the porcelain pieces that comprise her ongoing Objects of Time series as being “witness to their own history.” From her studio in Carryduff, Butler recreates 20th Century technologies like rotary telephones and typewriters through an array of techniques from casting and carving to assembly—watch her process in the video below. Brimming with texture and striking in dimension, the analog works explore cultural memory, associations to history and personal use, and the impressions these items have left on the world long after they’ve fallen from widespread use.

Butler shares with Colossal that each of the objects was an important part of her childhood and that the building process reflects its mechanics. The intricately slotted “Analogue,” which replicates her family’s phone, relied on low-tech templates to create the thin Parian porcelain sheets that, once dried, the artist interlocked into their final shape. Similarly, “Remnant” and “Shift” both layer hundreds of individual slabs into keys and sewing tools that are slightly skewed and indicative of their hand-built construction. These irregularities reference the imperfection of the humanmade in comparison to the precision that’s possible with automation.

As she expands Objects of Time, Butler plans to reproduce kitchen scales and her first SLR camera, so keep an eye on Instagram for those works. If you’re in London, you can see “Shift” at Two Temple Place between May 11 and 14, where Ruup & Form will be representing the artist in Eye of the Collector. You also might enjoy Yoonmi Nam’s worn sketchbooks. (via Lustik)

 

Detail of “Analogue” (2016). Photo by Vizz Creative

Left: “Shift” (2018). Right: “Stack” (2020). Photo by Bob Given

Detail of “Shift” (2018). Photo by Vizz Creative

Detail of “Shift” (2018). Photo by Vizz Creative

“Remnant” (2018). Photo by Vizz Creative

Detail of “Remnant” (2018). Photo by Vizz Creative

Detail of “Remnant” (2018). Photo by Vizz Creative

Detail of “Shift” (2018). Photo by Vizz Creative

 

 



Art Craft

Spikes, Rusted Wire, and Scissors Bind Shattered Porcelain in Sculptures by Glen Taylor

April 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Glen Taylor, shared with permission

A visual metaphor for imperfection and the possibilities of repair, the porcelain sculptures created by Ohio-based artist Glen Taylor (previously) are steeped in contrast. Soldered spikes confront the gilded, floral designs on a stack of teacups, a rusted pair of scissors binds shards of a plate, and wire restrains a concrete hand as it lurches from dinnerware. In his most recent pieces, Taylor also draws on his background in ceramics, creating the witty “Introvert Mug” with the handle strategically placed inside the vessel.

Some of the artist’s antagonistic sculptures are included in Overdose, a group exhibition at Design Museum Holon, and you can peruse an archive of his works on Instagram.

 

“Detached”

“What Heals You”

“Introvert Mug”

“The Reluctance”

 

 



Art

70,000 Tiny Amphorae Envelop the Voluminous Forms of Grégoire Scalabre's Elaborate Sculptures

April 16, 2022

Kate Mothes

“The Final Metamorphosis of Thetis,” (2021-2022). Image © Charles De Borggraef. All images shared with permission

Gathering thousands of miniature porcelain vessels over large surfaces and curvatures, Grégoire Scalabre confronts preconceptions of form, scale, and material in his intricate sculptures. The Paris-based artist hand-turns countless tiny, vase-like containers reminiscent of amphorae, or ancient storage jars that were typically long and narrow so that they could be snugly stored together. Drawing on a centuries-old tradition of French porcelain making and an interest in Greek mythology, his dynamic works combine incredible technical skill with a desire to recast the medium in a new light and experiment with its physical limits.

Approximately 1 to 1.5 inches in height and half an inch wide, every one of Scalabre’s minuscule components varies slightly from the next. Some have longer flutes than others, squatter bases, flattened tops, or a curl to the lip of the opening. When accumulated, the pieces appear to undulate across the surface in fluid patterns. The inherent delicacy of fine porcelain is challenged by the monumental scale at which these works take shape.

 

“The Final Metamorphosis of Thetis,” (2021-2022). Image © Charles De Borggraef

Standing more than six feet tall and months in the making, the artist’s most recent work, “The Final Metamorphosis of Thetis,” recalls a story from Greek mythology about a sea nymph by the same name. He translated a sketch of the composition into a 3D model, then created 70,000 individual ceramic pieces by hand. One by one, each vessel was dipped in glaze, fired at a high temperature, and once cooled, adhered to a structure made of resin foam.

Two of Scalabre’s sculptures, including “The Final Metamorphosis of Thetis,” are on view through May 1 as part of Porcelain Virtuosity at Homo Faber 2022 in Venice. You can find more of his work on Instagram. (via IGNANT)

 

“Cygnus”, (2021). Image © Anthony Girardi

“Soane,” (2020). Image © Anthony Girardi

“Soane,” (2020). Image © Anthony Girardi

“Achilles,” (2021). Image courtesy of Todd Merill Gallery

“Achilles,” (2021). Image courtesy of Todd Merill Gallery

Image © Charles De Borggraef

Image © Charles De Borggraef

Image © Virginie Mercier

 

 



Art

Peculiar Characters by Sophie Woodrow Flaunt a Bizarre Array of Costumes and Hybrid Features

March 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

Photo by Ben Dowden. All images © Sophie Woodrow, shared with permission

Uncanny hybrid bodies, peculiar garments, and innumerable unearthly details comprise Sophie Woodrow’s troupe of porcelain figures. Living and working in Bristol, the artist sculpts the delicate, white material into characters that blur the line between nature and culture: giant ribbons wrap a horned bull in a bow, a face emerges from a cloud-like form, and multiple heads sprout from a single neck. Evocative of Leonora Carrington’s surreal creatures—the tall “Hearing Trumpet” figure is a nod to Carrington’s bizarre novel by the same name—Woodrow plays with artifice and makes it difficult to distinguish bodily features from costume or accessory.

Throughout her practice, Woodrow continually references art history, and she’s currently working on a series that contrasts wild landscapes with the human impulse to manicure and tame nature’s unruliness. You can follow her progress on Instagram. (via Women’s Art)

 

Left: “Hearing Trumpet,” porcelain, 45 centimeters. Right: “Woodwose,” porcelain, 15 centimeters

Left: “Cirrus,” porcelain, 29 centimeters. Right: “Lamas,” porcelain, 23 centimeters

“Chorus,” porcelain, 42 centimeters

“Bull,” porcelain, 16 centimeters. Photo by Ben Dowden

 

 



Art Craft

Evoking Micro Life, Porcelain Sculptures by Shiyuan Xu Swell in Intricate Shapes

March 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Hybrid #1” (2021), colored porcelain paperclay and glaze, 20 × 7 × 18.5 inches. Photo by Guy Nicol

At once rigidly skeletal and imbued with rhythmic movement, the porcelain sculptures that comprise Shiyuan Xu’s Growth series are intricate recreations of single-celled organisms, molecules, and other micro lifeforms. The Chinese artist hand-builds delicate ceramic works of three-dimensional webbing that swell and surges into amorphous shapes mimicking a range of living creatures. Stretching up to two feet, the enlarged, abstract sculptures incorporate both the universal nature of evolution and change, while directly tying to Xu’s background. “My attempt of using the classical Chinese blue and white and celadon color palette in a contemporary way reflects my own narratives, life experience, and cultural heritage” she shares, explaining further:

The regular and irregular structures and layers of my piece blend in with the memory of my sensations and personal experience. The repetitive and labor-intensive process seems to be a therapy to ease my anxiety and sense of uncertainty while facing constant challenges in the intersections of two cultures.

To create each piece, Xu undertakes a laborious process that involves applying a heavy glaze and then using a knife to scratch the edges away. The removal leaves a line of raw clay coursing through the middle of each segment, and works like “Blue Vein #4” and “Hybrid #1” emphasize that central element with color. “After the piece is fired, I repeat the same process many times, to spray, scrape, and fire again, until the surface texture is accumulating to a very obvious degree,” she tells Colossal, noting that she sometimes replicates these steps ten times—check out the artist’s Instagram for a detailed look at her process.

Xu is currently an artist-in-residence at Chicago’s Lillstreet Art Center, and if you’re in London, you can see her work from May 10 to 15 with Ting-Ying Gallery at Design Center Chelsea Harbour.

 

“Vena #4” (2020), porcelain paperclay and glaze, 23 × 10 ×17 inches. Photo by Guy Nicol

“Vena #9” (2021), porcelain paperclay and glaze, 24 × 8 × 18 inches. Photo by Jeanne Donegan

“Vena Celadon #2” (2021), porcelain paperclay and glaze, 20.5 × 13 × 12 inches. Photo by Guy Nicol

“Blue Vein #14” (2021), colored porcelain paperclay and glaze, 14 × 6.25 × 20 inches. Photo by Jeanne Donegan

Detail of “Blue Vein #14” (2021), colored porcelain paperclay and glaze, 14 × 6.25 × 20 inches. Photo by Jeanne Donegan

“Vena #4” (2021), colored porcelain paperclay and glaze, 19.5 × 8 × 19 inches. Photo by Guy Nicol

Detail of “Vena #9” (2021), porcelain paperclay and glaze, 24 × 8 × 18 inches. Photo by Jeanne Donegan

“Vena #3” (2019), porcelain paperclay and glaze, 19.5 × 11 ×10.5 inches. Photo by Guy Nicol

 

 



Art

Dots, Stripes, and Florals Amass in Dense Patches in Angelika Arendt's Amorphous Sculptures

March 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Die Bagage” (2018), ceramic. All images © Angelika Arendt, shared with permissio

Along with delicate flowers in porcelain, Berlin-based artist Angelika Arendt applies minuscule orbs, dots, and thin, curved lines to her meticulously textured sculptures. Amorphous in shape but distinct in the organic matter they evoke, her intricate works often mimic processes found in nature, including plant growth and cells as they swell and burst into new life. Some pieces appear mid-movement, like expanding molecules, and others drip or peel to reveal fields thick with foliage and other tactile elements.

In addition to sculpture, Arendt also creates detailed botanical drawings, and both are on view through May 8 at Berlin’s C&K Gallery, where she’s represented. Her pieces will also be included in a group exhibition at Clemens Härle brewery in Leutkirch starting in April, and you can explore more of her dense works on Instagram.

 

“Apollon” (2019), ceramic, 72 x 41 x 41 centimeters. Photo by Eric Tschernown

“Nymphe” (2019), ceramic, 47 x 25 x 24 centimeters. Photo by Eric Tschernow

Detail of “The makings of you” (2022), porcelain

Detail of “The makings of you” (2022), porcelain

“Zwei Türme” (2017), ceramic, 28 x 30 x 22 centimeters

“Come back as a flower” (2018), biscuit porcelain, 26 x 20 x 20 centimeters