medium /// ceramic

debra broz

Ahhh, the super weird and wonderful work of LA based artist Debra Broz. I’ve written about her before and – fun fact – that duck-dog up there is a result of Debra being on my podcast five years ago! Yep, after we recorded, I sent her that dog head from a thrift shop in my town, and she turned it into art! Some of her mix-mashed critters are part of an upcoming group show, titled “Salvage” at Paradigm Gallery + Studio {Philadelphia}, curated by Christopher Jobson, the editor of the fabulous arts & culture site Colossal. Here’s the statement for “Salvage”:

“In a culture awash in disposable objects and materiality, it is seemingly impossible to determine what has finally outlived its usefulness or nostalgic pull only to be relegated to storage, the thrift store, or finally, the landfill. This faded sentiment is just the beginning of the journey for this group of four artists who use their abilities to miraculously salvage fragments of tradition and culture that were destined to be lost, relegated to the periphery, or buried forever.”

There’s a virtual opening and live Curator and artist Q&A on Friday, January 22, 2021 • 5:30pm EST Tickets available, RIGHT HERE.

rebecca hutchinson

Gasp! Hanging from the ceiling, lying on the floor, mounted on the wall… these gorgeous cone-like blooms are everywhere! Now, what are we looking at here? I have no idea. Well, I have some idea. There’s paper handmade using recycled materials (like old clothes!?), porcelain – both fire and unfired, and handmade paper coated in porcelain… maybe? Okay, I’m not totally sure, so that’s why I’ve invited Massachusetts based artist and educator, Rebecca Hutchinson, to come on my podcast to us her story AND how she does what she does! Until then, I’ll leave you with her artist statement:

“In nature there are diverse states of existence; the structure of nature, interactions between forces of nature, the resilience and the complexity of engineering in nature. All these states are rooted in the motivation for the need to survive, providing endless visual influences and conceptual possibilities for art making; speaking to the depth and complexity of living with the hopes of revealing the human condition in sculptural form.

Using diverse processes, my interest is in quality of craft, connections, structure, and conceptually to all physical parts to the whole. I build site-responsive sculptural works made from clay and recycled materials, like old clothing or industrial surplus. I hand build, slip trail, dip, layer, cut and construct with the surplus and handmade materials. Works are influenced by growth patterns, but do not replicate nature. Like an animal that uses the vernacular from place, I too up-cycle humble materials into exquisite sculptural forms.”

Yes, this is going to be a very interesting episode… So. Many. Questions! Stay tuned.

alex anderson

Yessssssss! This is the ceramic work of LA based artist Alex Anderson {and there he is, feeling full of gratitude at a show opening… with pink walls so you KNOW I love it!}. Speaking of shows, most of the work posted above is from his solo show earlier this year, titled “Little Black Boy Makes Imperial Porcelains” at GAVLAK Gallery, Los Angeles. Here’s part of the description:

“At the core of Anderson’s current body of work is a philosophical, existential examination of identity politics; based in Los Angeles, the 30-year old gay, Asian-African American sculptor is an artist working against stereotype and racialism rampant in today’s society. By working in an unexpected medium and channeling methodologies surrounding artistic production in ceramic arts, Anderson manages to create fantastic, multifaceted sculptures that are both subversive and whimsical at the same time. Alex Anderson uses the classical aesthetics of western power, which ironically share space with the aesthetics of queer camp cultural production, to translate the structures that govern his lived experience in society and others’ social perceptions of his identities into form. While his work engages with the ceramic canon and draws from the western art historical canon at large, it primarily operates at the core of Post-Blackness.”

Beautiful and powerful. Read the full statement right here.

{Alex’s work is available via GAVLAK Gallery, LA/Palm Beach}

alice walton

Oh. My. This is the mesmerizing ceramic work of UK based artist Alice Walton. All of those calming palettes combined with intricate, dizzying pathways could keep me here all day. Clearly, I had to include those insanely beautiful closeups … they remind me of looking out airplane windows at the fields and rivers below {remember, when we used to go places on planes?}. Here’s a peek into the how and why of Alice’s work:

“With a forensic eye, Walton translates the seemingly familiar into highly complex and multi-layered porcelain objects. Despite featuring intensely textured surfaces and complex colours, Walton’s work is also recognised for its meditative qualities. It is this tension between the repetitive and experimental, the calm and the kinetic that make her objects so compelling.

Walton uses a landscape of objects, crafted from individual components to create abstract scenes. This repetitive nature of mark-making in turn mimics the constant review of familiar objects on daily commutes. As references, she combines collaged photography and drawing from memory which are bought into her studio to work from. This research then pivots her work away from the literal into an imaginary collection of objects.

Her desire to stave off our digital riddled and splintered multi-realities is remedied through a process of intensely tactile moulding technique. Deliberately contemplative, her work creates a time capsule of discovery for the viewer with its intricately detailed markings drawing them in.”

Sigh. This is my kind of meditating.

clémentine de chabaneix
First, that bear’s side-eye is everything. Second, yes, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve written about the work of French artist Clémentine de Chabaneix… but can you blame me!? All of these pieces are from her current show, titled “ANIMUS”, at Galerie du Passage in Paris. Here are Clémentine’s words about this work:

“ANIMUS” is a set of enamelled ceramic sculptures, made in my workshop for a year. A privileged parenthesis allowing me to deepen a universe that I have been exploring for ten years of ceramic practice. “ANIMUS” A word which evokes me, by its etymology, which relates to the soul and by analogy of sound to the word ANIMAL. For a long time, I have declined countless combinations of mixed man-animals. Psychological portraits arranged like riddles. Colorful snakes, crystal horns, galvanized flowers, meteorites, foxes, masks, toads, crocodiles… I develop a symbolic vocabulary that evokes human identity in its complexity, its contradictions, its poetry.

In this work, the animal figure appears, like an alter ego: the animal counterpart, with soft or disturbing forms, inexorably placing man in an equation from which he cannot extricate himself. “

Beautiful. “ANIMUS” runs until February 27, 2021. ps. Here’s a peek the gallery just posted on Instagram:

zsófia keresztes

Gasp! Glass mosaic, grout, copper pipe, thread, styrofoam… now that is a materials list! This is the work of Budapest based artist Zsófia Keresztes. Most of her sculptures and installations center around her interest in the intersection of the digital world and the body. The tears for example, “represent social media and its predatory claims on our sadness – and the sadness of others. They are toxic.” Well here’s something that will cause tears of joy… it’s just been announced that Zsófia will represent Hungary at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022! Amazing news! Congratulations, Zsófia… I hope I get to see your jaw-dropping work in person.

{quote via Elijah Wheat Showroom, NY}.

janice jakielski


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PORCELAIN. I thought these lovely deconstructed vessels were paper, or maybe painted wood? Nope. THEY. ARE. PORCELAIN. I’ll wait while you scroll back up in disbelief … Ok, great. This is the work of Massachusetts based artist Janice Jakielski, from two of her series –  “Books” and “Sliced”. Here are Janice’s words about her work:

“I create objects of curiosity; beautiful objects to provide focus, retreat and pause in an overwhelming world. Through the use of meticulous detail, familiar forms and uncertain function I coax my audience to draw near, closing the physical gap between viewer and object. In this way the details of my workmanship and the excessive fragility of the porcelain act as a whisper, flirtatiously demanding investigation.

This work began from a place of material exploration. I adapt and re-invent ceramic engineering processes and materials for application in the studio. This experimental approach to ceramics allows me to circumvent the constraints of a conventional clay body. By inventing a new way of casting and manipulating ultra-thin porcelain sheets I am able to create impossible objects. Cut, veneered, twirled and slotted my vessels have a material ambiguity that brings the viewer to a place of sensory uncertainty.

My pieces are inspired by iconic historic vessels. I do not replicate these objects but instead re-imagine them in ways not feasible using traditional ceramics. By removing the interior volume I am able to contemplate these forms divorced from function. They are vessels without voids, containers without containment. I use planes to playfully define, dissect and divide the spaces that they inhabit.”

‘Beautiful objects to provide focus, retreat and pause in an overwhelming world’ … ahhh, yes. I needed that. Thanks, Janice.

fanny ollas

‘Oof’. That was the first thought/sound that popped into my mind when I saw the weirdly emotional ceramic work of Swedish artist Fanny Ollas. Emotional ceramics? Yeah, that must be a thing because just look at these vases, lamps and mirrors. They absolutely express how I’m feeling at the end of this crazy year. Oof. Here’s Fanny’s bio, and description of why she does what she does:

Fanny Ollas is an artist and designer based in Stockholm, Sweden, working primarily with ceramics and textile. She has a background within fashion but changed her career in 2015 to work with ceramics and sculpture. Fanny is interested in art and craft in relation to psychology and the emotional relationship we have with the everyday objects around us. In her practice, she uses clay to discover and explore visual storytelling and to give form to different mental states and emotions. She often works with scenography and with spatial installations where the objects interact with each other to create a mood or a story. She combines the playful qualities of the clay with a handmade expression to create a language that is both cute, humorous and sometimes sad at the same time. Her work can be described as to enter a surreal fantasy world in the borderland between an innocent fairy tale and a melancholic dystopia; a world in which the viewers are encouraged to discover and create their own stories. Fanny Ollas graduated with a master’s degree in ceramics at Konstfack in the spring of 2018 and has since been active in her studio in Gustavsberg.

Cute, humorous and sometimes sad… yep, all of the feels. Happy Friday.

en iwamura


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Loooooove! This is the colorful, wonderful, whimsical work of Japanese artist En Iwamura. I had to keep uploading new images as I wrote this post, because I just kept finding more of these lovely little heads! I discovered most of them through the gallery that represents his work in the US, Ross + Kramer Gallery  … and guess what? They happen to be showing his work right now at their East Hampton location until December 13th, 2020. Here’s his bio from the gallery site:

… His interest in art started with having two painters as parents. When applying to art school in Japan, where he earned his BFA and first MFA at the Kanazawa College of Art and Craft, he first thought he would follow their path but instead chose ceramics as a medium. This three-dimensional choice allows him to experiment with the viewer’s experience of occupying space concurrently with his work. He references this relationship between negative space, viewer, and object back to the Japanese philosophy of Ma. Finding the most comfortable Ma between people, places, or objects can create a specific relationship with that person, place or object relative to an exact moment in time. More than just being three dimensional, clay is also in itself a very historic medium, which helps Iwamura further explore his interest of specific moments in time. To the artist, “Ceramics last longer than human life, and we will communicate with future people with ceramics as an important information system.”

We most certainly will. Beautiful.

glen martin taylor

Okay, I think I just found my new dish set! So, let’s kick things off with a dictionary definition:

“Kintsugi… a Japanese method for repairing broken ceramics with a special lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum / Nothing is ever truly broken – is the philosophy behind the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi, which repairs smashed pottery by using beautiful seams of gold” … OR chains, twigs, buttons, thread, and the list goes on if you happen to be Glen Martin Taylor. Yep, he has definitely put his own spin on this ancient art form by transforming broken plates and vessels {some of which were his grandmother’s, some he creates himself} into entirely new objects. I’d recommend following him on Instagram, because the captions Glen writes are just as poetic as his work. Happy Monday.

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