Gloopy Drips Trickle from Playful Ceramic Vessels by Philip Kupferschmidt
Wide, playful grins and freckled snouts peek through the drippy exteriors of Philip Kupferschmidt’s ceramic vessels. The Orange County based-artist is known for his slouching vases and mugs effuse with beads of clay, which appear suspended in a liquid state as they ooze and trickle down the walls of each vessel.
After throwing on the wheel, Kupferschmidt pushes, bends, and pulls the pieces into their final amorphous forms, sometimes letting the material dry slightly first for easier manipulation. The artist then applies numerous drops and globs by hand and treats each to a meticulous glazing process he’s developed throughout his career, ensuring that no two pieces are alike.
In addition to his signature dribbled textures, collaboration is also a key part of Kupferschmidt’s practice. The expressive works with faces shown here were made with Calvin Wong, and the artist just shared a new series with Faye Hadfield. You can add some of his functional and decorative pieces to your own collection by checking out his shop and following updates on new releases on Instagram.
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Mottled, Marbled, and Speckled Glazes Ooze Over Ceramic Vessels in Thick Pastel Drips
Philadelphia-based ceramicist Brian Giniewski (previously) is behind the playfully textured vessels known as Drippy Pots. Referencing a melty summertime ice cream cone or icing on a cake, the glossy material in mottled pastels, speckles, or single colors trickle down the exterior of mugs and cups. To contrast the neutral-toned earthenware of the base vessels, Giniewski throws simple shapes and then dunks the functional objects into a thick glaze.
The ceramicist recently restocked the Drippy Pots shop and also started wholesaling with SSENSE. You can peer into his process and follow updates on future releases on Instagram.
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Vessels of Woven Copper Wire by Sally Blake Mimic the Patterns of Natural Lifeforms
From her studio in Canberra, Australian artist Sally Blake (previously) twists and plaits copper wire into baskets and sculptures evocative of the organic matter ubiquitous around the planet. Seed pods, sprawling networks of bulbous pockets and thin, sinuous veins, and mammalian bronchial systems emerge from the malleable material, and through intricately woven motifs, Blake accentuates the tension between delicacy and resilience inherent to natural life. “Visualisation of the natural laws and patterning that hold people in relationship with Earth, as well as the consequences of these unravelling, is my focus,” she tells Colossal. “I feel deeply about disconnections in human understanding and care of the natural world, which result in environmental crises”
Currently, Blake is working on metallic vessels for a solo show opening on October 20 at Canberra’s Grainger Gallery, in addition to sculptures for a group exhibition in Sydney later this fall. She has a few baskets, in addition to stitched pieces and other two-dimensional works, available in her shop, and you can follow her latest projects—which include drawing all of the world’s owl species—on Instagram.
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Amorphous Ceramic Vessels by Julie Bergeron Merge the Shapes and Textures of Organic Matter
From her studio in Paris, artist Julie Bergeron hand-builds amorphous stoneware vessels that mimic a wide array of creatures and lifeforms found in nature. Hollow ducts and pointed spines cover the surfaces of the cavernous forms, ambiguously evoking seed pods, tropical fruits like rambutan or durian, and small marine organisms. “I have fun mixing types, blurring the tracks… Are we in the vegetal, animal, microscopic, or human world? The borders become undefined,” she tells Colossal.
Inspired by the biological illustrations of Ernst Haeckel, Bergeron uses a coiling technique to shape the initial bodies before engraving or covering the forms in repeating patterns. She leaves the works unglazed so that the minerality and organic textures of the clay remain intact, the final steps of a process she explains in further detail:
When I start my pieces, I don’t have a specific idea. Gradually the sculpture takes shape, and I let myself be guided by its curves and its irregularities. The name of the piece comes to me when it is finished depending on what it evokes to me or the emotion felt. Often the sculptures seem alive to me.
The Quebec-born artist has a few pieces available from Suzan in Paris, and her Instagram features a trove of vessels and glimpses into her process.
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Dried and Pressed Flowers Are Molded into Delicate Sculptural Vessels by Shannon Clegg
Immersed in the flora of Cape Town’s Table Mountain as a child, artist Shannon Clegg has always had an affinity for unembellished, humble materials, particularly those harvested naturally and shaped into innovative forms. This now lifelong inclination emerges in Bouquet, her series of biophilic sculptures comprised of dozens of flowers dried and pressed into intricately constructed mesh. Hollow and vase-like, the preserved works extend the vibrancy and supple forms of purple statice or burgundy kangaroo paw from approximately ten days to upwards of five years.
To create the botanical pieces, Clegg researched at The Herbarium at The Royal Botanic Garden at Kew. She describes “looking back through archival methods for storing flowers pressed by their botanists around the world and the types of equipment they use to collect and press flowers.”
The work led me to create a ‘self-assemble’ glass side-table with DIY flower pressing kit. The product allowed the user to go out to nature, collect and press flowers, and then arrange them for display within their home inside the glass table… The act of slowing down, observing plants, and then collecting them to bring back home to display—for me it’s the essence of biophilic experience through an object.
Following her explorations at Kew, Clegg developed a hand-mold process that she utilizes to shape and preserve cut plants. Each three-dimensional piece takes about six weeks to complete.
To see more of the Bouquet series, visit the artist’s site, and follow news about upcoming exhibitions and available sculptures on Instagram. (via Lustik)
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Nature and Geometry Blend in Beguiling Symmetry in Oliver Chalk’s Voluminous Timber Vessels
Only two years ago, Canterbury, U.K.-based artist Oliver Chalk began creating bold, geometric vessels out of wood. Having worked previously with fabric to design and produce large-scale installations for events, his interest in experimentation with new materials and techniques led to using found timber.
Carving detailed forms from the hulks of trees found in the local countryside of Kent, the artist considers the practice of turning and whittling sculptures to be a means of communication and an expression of self through symmetrical shapes and striations. The process of repetition often produces a state of mindfulness. “Imparting my mark through gouging hundreds, if not thousands, of seemingly arbitrary fissures by hand is a profoundly personal journey,” he tells Colossal.
The sustainability and local sourcing of the materials is an important part of Chalk’s approach. All of the wood he gathers comes from native species that he collects from local arborists or forages close to his workshop, finding cuts from trees that have been felled by storms or are partly decaying. The shapes he chips into each piece reflect a merging of nature and the human-made. “Being self-taught, I am still very much listening and learning about the material,” he says. In each vessel, he highlights the natural gradations of color, growth rings, knots, and fissures, emphasizing the relationship between organic form and geometric precision.
Chalk’s work is included in the exhibition Linear Expression at Gallery 57 until June 25. You can find more information on his website and Instagram. (via Lustik)
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