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Art

Slinky Spirals of Clay Form Topsy-Turvy Vases by Michael Boroniec

April 27, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Michael Boroniec subverts the age-old conception of pots and vases as useful vessels of containment with his sculptural ceramics. The artist began his spiral motif in 2008 with a focus on teapots, and the style has since become the predominant theme of his body of work. Boroniec forms each vessel on his potter’s wheel, and then carefully slices through the still-soft clay to deconstruct the traditional shape. He describes his intention behind these deconstructions in a recent Instagram post:

This process reveals aspects of the vase that most rarely encounter. Within the walls, maker’s marks become evident and contribute to the texture. The resultant ribbon effect, reminiscent of a wheel trimming, lends fragility, elegance, and motion to a medium generally perceived as hard and heavy. This emphasizes a resistance of gravity, allowing negative space to unravel and become part of the form.

Boroniec studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and now lives and works in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He is represented by Lyons Wier Gallery, where his work is on view in a group exhibition through April 28, 2018. You can see more of his work on tumblr and InstagramMark Cantin and Cat Burt also directed and produced a short film about Boroniec, which you can view below.

 

 

 



History

Archeologists Unearth Ancient Smiley Face on a 3,700-Year-Old Jug

July 25, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

A team of Turkish and Italian archeologists working on a site in southern Turkey discovered an interesting object recently, an ancient smiley face drawn on the side of an off white jug. The faded face is simplistically drawn, two black dots hovering over a crooked arch just below, and is so subtle it was not noticed until it had been transported to a lab for restoration.

“The smiling face is undoubtedly there (there are no other traces of painting on the flask) and has no parallels in ancient ceramic art of the area,” said Dr. Nicolo Marchetti of Bologna University, who led the excavation.

The crew had been at the site of its discovery for the last seven summers, an area that was once the ancient Hittite city Karkemish. The object is unlike anything else they have encountered in the area, however it was not the only important thing unearthed. The team also found 250 clay bullae, or tokens that would have been attached to legal documents, a large basalt relief of two griffons, and the remains of both a fortress and grain silo.

The architectural site will be open to the public next year as the Karkemish Ancient City Archaeological Park. You can visit the ancient smiley close by when it goes on display at the Gaziantep Museum of Archaeology. (via The History Blog)

 

 



Design

A 130-Year-Old Japanese Pottery Shop Puts a Modern Spin on Traditional Kutani Tableware

August 4, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Founded in 1879 in Ishikawa, Japan, Kutani Choemon have been creating handmade and hand-painted pottery for the better part of 130 years, and while the history shows in the quality of their work, the subject matter is a bit more contemporary. Skateboarders, surfers, and drummers rendered in blue Kutani color glazes adorn a wide variety of their tableware and tea ceremony utensils, bringing a quirky and modern vibe to a traditionally conservative craft. You can see more over in the Kutani Choemon shop. (via Designers Go to Heaven)

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