Although Heather's main focus for her work is to create decorative objects, the work she produces has intricate details inspired by and derived from the natural world, resulting in pieces that are organic but with precision and intricate detail. I feel that some of her pieces are a bit too literal in nature for me but I find the detail of her sculptures inspiring and admire her ability to identify a market for her work and then develop and build on that to create a successful business.
I work in a decorative ceramic expression that involves both form and decoration. Decoration is integrated into the form and the form itself is spatially decorative
The sculptures are all unique. The process is based on hand-built elements built up in terms and variations or freehand modelled objects. I focus on a high level of craftsmanship, with ceramics being the central part of my works.
My works are glazed and fired several times to achieve a perfect and monochrome surface. In contrast to the object, you can see colored strings or hand-decorated patterns to express the influence of the sculpture´s movements and how to put the works into a spatial context showing a strong graphic expression.
Ipsen hand builds each element then assembles them together, he is interested in playfulness and movement in his pieces, he focusses much more on process and finish and less on a specific narrative, for him the joy is in the hands on process of making, he doesn't use any casting or wheel throwing in his work, but yet they do have a mechanical precision to them. I like the use of pvc cord, there is something more chaotic about how these look, almost like he's trying to hold everything together, perhaps a metaphor for control, who knows? I can see myself making work in this way and recognise that I can take my pieces in two very different directions. I can make work that continues to strive for that meticulous surface and utilises simple abstract forms, or I can make work that is more like that of Toni Losey, where every piece is very different, the surfaces and additions are more textural and the pieces have a more surreal 'other worldly' look to them. This is an important decision to make and one that I need to be confident I can sustain going forward into my final module.
Erum Aamir is a Manchester based ceramic artist who makes intricate porcelain sculptures which are a fusion of her scientific research and artistic imaginations. I first came across her work at the British Ceramics Biennial as a 'Fresh' artist exhibiting there.
Am interested in Aamir's work as she focusses on the macro structure of plants and creates pieces that are very organic, she uses lots of surface texture and detail and her use of colour is really clever. All her work is in porcelain and the various structures she achieves are quite remarkable. Aamir admits to not drawing out or planning her pieces before hand rather letting them evolve organically and I find this process of making much more akin to my own. I find her pieces very inspiring, many are very small which makes the complexity of there construction even more impressive.
I was fascinated by the weirdly organic plant/alien like sculptures made by Canadian artist Toni Losey, her work is made on the potters wheel and she assembles different rounded pieces together to create these strange forms, she then decorates the surface with several layers of underglaze and glaze that she sprays on and fires repeatedly to create some depth and texture in the surface.
After my last assessment and more recently after I had begun to push the work I was doing I revisited Toni Losey's work and hadn't realised how amazing it is! The pieces are so inspirational to me, I would love to be able to get to a place where my work is evolving like her has done. There is a discipline and meticulous nature to her approach to making, she uses the potters wheel but the resulting forms do not reveal this, they could have been hand built with pinch pots and coils or even slip cast or press moulded. I think she achieves an incredible aesthetic where there is a tension between the surreal and uncanny and the organic world. Could they be macro versions of seeds, sea creatures, funghi or plants.
I have been concerned about making work that was obviously trying to mimic the real world, getting hung up on things ending up being too mushroom looking or plant looking. Looking again at Losey's work I can see that if I just keep pushing, experimenting, using colour and glaze in different ways there is potential to achieve something that could be really interesting and evocative. I need to be braver!
Philip Kupferschmidt is a ceramic artist based out of San Bernardino county, California. He recieved an MFA in ceramics and BFA in creative photography from California State University, Fullerton.
All of his work is formed by hand on the wheel, and while following a general series of themes, no two pieces are identical - nor surface exactly alike. He is interested in exploring unique approaches decorative and functional ceramics through design, color and glaze experimentation.
The main interest I have in Kupferschmidt's work is in his glaze use, he uses Gloop, crawl and lichen glazes in his pieces to really good effect. I am now exploring recipes in books and on Glazy where I can try and create similar versions of these. To date I have only done limited experimenting with glaze and have really enjoyed this so I plan to continue to develop this side of my practice into the next module.
My interest in Beate Kuhn's work is all about the aesthetics of her pieces, she made all of her pieces on the wheel and seemed to thrive on the meticulous, mathematical almost scientific approach to her making. This style of making is the antithesis of my own, I am much more interested in the organic evolvement of the pieces, rather than meticulously planning out where every tiny component in a piece will be placed. There are loose narratives to Kuhn's work, rhythm and movement being some, but her aesthetic seemed to mainly lie in the precise construction and purity of the forms as they were all made using a mechanical process. To me they are evocative, tactile, slightly odd and surreal looking with a suggestion of organic matter or cell like structures and this is why I am interested in her work.
Eva Zethraeus (Swedish, b. 1971) is a ceramic artist based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Working primarily in porcelain, she creates exquisite and tenuous biomorphic sculptures that are at the intersection between representational and abstract. Inspired by marine life, Japanese Zen Buddhist gardens and viruses, Zethraeus’ works examine the beauty and phenomena of life cycles and replication, and the unpredictable variances that occur.
Ezeth's work is made in components and assembled, like Beate Kuhne she uses the potters wheel to create her pieces. Her work is also organic in style and aesthetic and like Kitson she is interested in natural forms and takes inspiration from the natural world. I do like these pieces, technically I think they are amazing, her construction is immaculate and it's all made in porcelain. Although there is some variety to the style of her pieces I do feel that using the wheel in the way she does seems to restrict the potential shapes and forms that she can create. I can see why they appeal to people, the pieces echo sea creatures, plant life, organic matter, they are beautiful to look at and slightly uncanny.
Juz Kitson is an Austrailian artist who uses clay as the predominant material in her surreal, mixed media sculptures.
Juz Kitson’s works are resplendent and dense. Complex and large scale, they are exquisite musings on nature’s cycles of metamorphosis, decay, beauty and abundance. As a contemporary multi-disciplinary artist, Kitson pushes the boundaries of material and meaning through her sculptural works. Kitson has mastered the use of porcelain and other clay bodies through intricate hand-building and slip casting. Like alchemy, Kitson incorporates these ceramic elements with hot and flameworked glass and natural materials, such as reclaimed animal pelts and furs and husks and tusks. The seductive combination of the construction and assemblage with hand built forms and found objects couple to form Kitson’s unsettling evocative morphologies. https://sophiegannongallery.com.au/artist/juz-kitson/ Accessed Sept 2022
Kitson's works holds fascination for me on a number of levels, her process of making, the use of assemblage of cast ceramics combined with other materials. The narratives in her work explore the cyclical nature of life and our connection and role within this cycle and this has echoes to my own interests in the natural world and funghi. There is also a surreal, other worldly quality to the work which is simultaneously evocative and un-nerving and I am inspired to see if I can push my own work to develop in such a way.