It’s a girl’s world in these scenes of playful mischief created by an eclectic array of delicate materials by Amanda Michelle Smith. Rendering tiny girls full of energy and angst, the artist uses oil paint, golf leaf, and ceramic pieces to construct her highly textured work. Smith’s talents in painting spritely girls are only matches in her ability in ceramics. Her light and airy palette combined with the rich glazes of the ceramic creates incredibly eye-popping aesthetics. The surface texture and detail in each leaf, tree, and flower jump out at you as they are formed from ceramic, creating a relief.
Although Smith’s work is full of little girls in dresses and bows, things are not always giggles and tea parties. Except, when there is actually a tea party, there are strange ghoulish guests dining in front of a black sky. Each scene has a bizarre flare that is both whimsical and somewhat dark. These are places where grumpy girls hide in a house while tons of little people seek to get inside. Proportions are skewed, size doesn’t matter, and little girls have a mind of their own. These feisty young ladies get into peculiar situations that are so beautifully and intricately constructed. Smith’s use of clay is flawlessly blended into her painting style, creating finished pieces that are begging to be touched. This California based artists creates three dimensional ceramic pieces as well, make sure to check them out on her website!
(via The Jealous Curator)
Artist Anna Barlow creates a kind of dessert that you would never want to eat –ice cream made out of ceramic! Although her work contains the same rich, juicy colors irresistibly drippings as ice cream does; the substance is not actually melting at all. It is constructed with ceramic and porcelain entirely by hand. She not only molds clay into scoops of this dairy treat, but also little cherries, candy hearts, ice cream cones, and even the occasional pillow being engulfed by the seeping dessert. Even more interesting, the artist also makes ceramic shoes that appear to be comprised of ice cream and flavored syrups swirling around the heel.
Barlow’s incredible skill in sculpting these delicious desserts combines with her perfect sense of color and glazing to create a finished piece that looks good enough to eat. The artist explains that she finds beauty in the drips of oozing ice cream and is fascinated by its natural transformation in shape due to its current state. It may be fluid with colors blending together on a hot day, or frozen into perfect form. The malleable nature of the substance is somewhat similar to clay. It can be manipulated and molded to a certain extent, but, unlike ice cream, clay can be fired into ceramic in order for it to hold a permanent shape. She unites ceramic and porcelain in order to achieve the right texture and coloring to portray these desserts.
“…the dry translucency of high fired porcelain suits the biscuit texture of wafers and ice cream cones, while the colourful liquidity of a silky opaque earthenware glaze is used to capture the quality of dripping ice cream.”
Israeli artist Zemer Peled creates sculptures using countless ceramic shards. Each individual element is a small part of a greater whole, and their sharp and pointed edges form a single beautiful form that’s inspired by flowers or sea creatures. Through careful arrangement, these forms bloom and breath like the real thing.
Peled uses blue cobalt found in designs and landscapes from traditional Japanese pottery as her raw materials. Subtle lines and patterns create the textures for flower petals and other attributes. To make this possible, the artist uses a slab roller to build sheets of clay that are fired and then broken with a hammer. What’s incredible is not only the meticulous nature of assembling and placing each piece, but its the uniformity that they all have. Although Peled’s work is comprised of countless parts, each of them is the same. (Via Colossal)
Peter Pincus is a New York-based ceramic artist whose relatively simple forms are punctuated by blocks of color. The clean and modern pots, urns, and cups are mostly gray with accents of blue, yellow, salmon, and more that are laid side by side in thin strips. Occasionally, gold lines the edges.
The forms are very structured, as are their designs. Colors are evenly portioned and thin lines, contrasting-colored divide gray sections of the ceramics. If we were to remove the surface designs from the clay, they could stand alone as abstract paintings. And, that’s partially the point of Pincus’ work. He writes in an artist statement:
I produce three-dimensional paintings out of pots. The studio challenge is to determine a way to create containers that belong not only on the dinner table, but also elsewhere in the home. Many of my pots are status symbols saved for special occasions, generally deemed distinct because of the value of what they hold rather than for what they are. But to me, in between such occasions, they become canvases that visually illustrate the defining spirit of the times, despite their being utilitarian and made of clay, not canvas. They still need to do their job; to be genuine, they must be functional as well as opulent. But they can be so much more.
From far away, you might not realize what’s on these porcelain pieces by Evelyn Bracklow for LA philia. But, upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that there are tiny painted ants that look like they’re travelling across plates, cups, saucers, and more. The German artist has permanently implanted this pest onto the very places that we don’t want them to be.
Despite someone’s potential aversion to the ants, these pieces are clever, unique, and beautifully crafted. The playful works are handmade in her studio, signed, numbered, and fired between 160 and 180 degrees. Glossy, gold rimmed, and vintage, the addition of these critters marrs the glossy white porcelain. But, that seems to be the point. Bracklow wants them to be unusual and catch the eyes of passer by, and she certainly does it. While some designs only feature the ants, other pieces have food on the plate and the ants hovering around it. Sounds appetizing, huh?
The pieces featuring food are part of a partnership between Bracklow, Rijks Museum in the Netherlands, and Etsy.
The title “Skate Fails” evokes a series of aborted tricks and falls, but in the hands of ceramist Xavier Mañosa and Alex Trochut for Mañosa’s brand Appartau, it’s the skateboard itself that fails. Made for the San Francisco based company FTC, these ceramic pieces are ingenious riffs on skateboarding’s perils, from the accordion of an abrupt stop to the shattered pieces of a too rough ride. Even in this deconstructed form, the boards are recognizable thanks in part to the inclusion of skate trucks. Mañosa said:
“The idea comes from the attempt to translate the skateboard to Dali’s liquid clocks. Alex and I started experimenting with different kinds of liquids, like honey or acrylic paint, observing how it dripped and flowed. We applied these exercises to the ceramic skateboard, melting it and seeing how it burned and wrinkled. The outcome was the collection of melted boards.” (Source)
It’s a clever idea executed beautifully, in clear, bright colors, glossy metallics, and nebulous form. The curiously lovely distorted and broken forms serve also as grim reminder of the skateboard riders’ reality, where a stray rock or crack can mean a hospitalization or worse.
“Ceramics are fragile and if they fall they break; something very important in my work,” Mañosa said. “I don’t create indestructible things.” (Source)
Not indestructible, but bright, interesting, and utterly cool.
Ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper collaborate to create a stunning installation commemorating the centennial of the First World War. A scarlet sea of 888,246 ceramic red poppies will be “planted” around the Tower of London. Titled “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red”, the installation pays tribute to soldiers who perished during the war.
For the past few weeks, volunteers have been carefully placing the flowers all around the famous dry moat around the Tower. Poppies burst through one of the windows and then flow loosely, forming an arch over the footbridge to the castle. Each poppy represents a soldier from the United Kingdom and its colonies who was killed during WWI. Cummings says he was inspired by a line in the will of a soldier from Derbyshire.
“I don’t know his name or where he was buried or anything about him. But this line he wrote, when everyone he knew was dead and everywhere around him was covered in blood, jumped out at me: ‘The blood-swept lands and seas of red, where angels fear to tread.’ I believe he meant the angels to refer to his children.”
Poppy is considered a flower of remembrance in Britain. The reason is because most of the soldiers died fighting in the trenches in the poppy fields of Flanders.
The blooming field will continue to grow throughout the summer. The final flower will be symbolically planted on November 11th, Armistice Day. The ceramic blossoms are for sale for £25 ($42) each. 10 percent of the proceeds go to benefit six different charities. You can find out more about the project by following the #TowerPoppies hashtag on Twitter. (via Colossal)
Dutch designer Jolan van der Wiel creates unusual ceramic sculptures using the conflicting properties of metallic clay and magnets. His latest project “Magnetism Meets Architecture” features a number of fantastic gravity-defying architectural models and explores the possibility of using magnetism in architecture.
The process of making such sculptures starts by mixing clay with water to create a slip, a mixture with the consistency of cream. Then he adds metallic powder like iron with the ratio typically being 90% clay, 10% metal. The whole blend is then transferred to a nozzle similar to the one confectioners use for cake icing. Carefully building layer after layer, van der Wiel allows surrounding magnets to pull them into various shapes resembling a drip sand castle (passing a magnetic field through the material provides an opposing force to gravity, thus the clay is pulled upwards and suspends in its place).
Van der Wiel is fascinated with the idea of using magnetism in architecture.
“I’m drawn to the idea that the force would make the final design of the building – architects would only have to think about the rough shape and a natural force would do the rest. This would create a totally different architectural field.”
According to the artist, he got the inspiration from Catalan architect Gaudi who used gravity to calculate the final shape of his famous building La Sagrada Familia: “I thought, what if he had the power to turn off the gravitation field for a while? Then he could have made the building straight up.” (via Wired)