Several Layers of Glaze Finish Mia Alajasko’s Ceramic Octopuses with Colorful Textures
August 29, 2022

Tentacles speckled with glaze and bulbous suckers support the bodies of Mia Alajasko’s ceramic mollusks. From her backyard workshop in Onsala, Sweden, the artist sculpts squids and octopuses that stand upwards of 40 centimeters. Each creature is cloaked in several layers of glaze that produce a diverse array of finishes from classic matte white and neutral-toned crackles to sleek rust and mottled shades of blue.
Alajasko makes about a dozen pieces each month, and her next shop release is on September 28. More Continue reading

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Ceramic Rings Link Nature and Community in Cecil Kemperink’s Elaborate Moveable Sculptures
August 23, 2022

Constant motion and transformation underpin ceramic artist Cecil Kemperink’s philosophy, drawing inspiration from the rhythms of nature. Since 2019, she has lived on Texel, an island north of The Netherlands in the Wadden Sea that’s recognized by UNESCO as the largest continuous, undisturbed intertidal ecosystem in the world. The infinite crashing of waves on the shore, grasses or branches waving in the wind, and the way humans interact with these phenomena inspire the artist’s linked, organic pieces that combine sculpture with performance (previously). More Continue reading

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In ‘Colonial Ruptures,’ Artist Sharif Bey Defies the Constraints of Time through Fragmented Figures
August 3, 2022

Artist Sharif Bey centers his practice around recontextualizing, a process he undertakes by fracturing long-held perspectives through fragments. His figurative sculptures unify disparate materials and broad cultural references across generations and eras—his works are notably undated—drawing on both the aesthetics of West-Central Africa, particularly the spiritual protectors known as nkisi, and the industrial histories of his family and current city of Syracuse.
Largely crafted around bits of his own ceramic vessels, Bey’s works are on view at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum in a solo exhibition titled Colonial Ruptures, which questions the inherent value and power of objects, particularly as they’re stripped from their original cultures through colonial violence and structural racism. More Continue reading

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Adorably Emotional Creatures Comprise Nosey Mungo’s Playful Ceramic Menagerie
July 22, 2022

In the hands of Helen Burgess, goofy grins, bloated bellies, and eyes wide with surprise turn endangered or overlooked animals into endearing creatures with playfully exaggerated emotions. The British ceramicist, who works as nosey mungo (previously), sculpts quirky renditions of wildlife and other critters—she prefers to focus on conservation issues and species struggling to survive— crafting kooky pufferfish covered in spikes and chicks with tiny beaks poking out from their downy, yellow bodies. More Continue reading

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Wildly Expressive Masks by Karolina Romanowska Freeze Contradictory Emotions in Ceramic
July 19, 2022

“Extremely resilient yet fragile” is how artist Karolina Romanowska describes the moody, anthropomorphic characters that comprise her series of sculptural works. Romanowska hand-builds a vast array of fantastical personas from clay, using a combination of slabs, coils, and molds to form flat tongues, individual teardrops, and horns with pointed tips. The contradictions inherent within the figures’ expressions are the conceptual counterpart to the ceramic material, she says, referring to both its ability to withstand fire and its propensity to fracture or burst upon impact. More Continue reading

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An Astonishing Array of Ceramic Mosaic Tiles Comprise a Japanese Museum’s Historical Collection
June 24, 2022

In the Gifu Prefecture of Japan, a nucleus of creativity blossomed in Kasahara Town, Tajimi City, more than a millennium ago. Known for its history of ceramic production, the region celebrates its distinctive heritage with a spring and autumn festival, a ceramics-themed park, and pottery shops that teach visitors the tradition. Among its newest attractions, set in a rolling green, the Mosaic Tile Museum Tajimi focuses on a more recent aspect of the ceramics industry. More Continue reading

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Dozens of Carved Layers Compose Vivid Linocut Prints of Cats and Bouquets by Vanessa Lubach
June 13, 2022

Norfolk-based artist Vanessa Lubach likens her printmaking practice to that of oil painting and draws on the latter to inform her vibrant compositions. “I linocut like a painter and paint like a linocutter, and the two disciplines work together to inform and enhance each other,” she tells Colossal. Whether depicting bunches of dahlias and cosmos in a ceramic pitcher or an enchanting forest landscape, Lubach’s works center on quiet moments in domestic interiors or out among nature. More Continue reading

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Cloaked in Bold Motifs, Ceramic Vessels by Ariana Heinzman Sprout Playful Botanical Forms
May 20, 2022

From her studio on Vashon Island in Washington, artist Ariana Heinzman channels the lithe forms of the human body into supple clay vessels. Enveloped in quirky botanical patterns and thick outlines, the sculptures twist and bow into elegant shapes that sprout buds and spiked flowers. Bold, dense motifs evoke the Garden of Eden, Heinzman shares, and serve as a metaphor for the impulse to cover the nude figure with layers of garments.
The vessels shown below are on view through June 18 at J. More Continue reading

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70,000 Tiny Amphorae Envelop the Voluminous Forms of Grégoire Scalabre’s Elaborate Sculptures
April 16, 2022

Gathering thousands of miniature porcelain vessels over large surfaces and curvatures, Grégoire Scalabre confronts preconceptions of form, scale, and material in his intricate sculptures. The Paris-based artist hand-turns countless tiny, vase-like containers reminiscent of amphorae, or ancient storage jars that were typically long and narrow so that they could be snugly stored together. Drawing on a centuries-old tradition of French porcelain making and an interest in Greek mythology, his dynamic works combine incredible technical skill with a desire to recast the medium in a new light and experiment with its physical limits. More Continue reading

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Dots, Stripes, and Florals Amass in Dense Patches in Angelika Arendt’s Amorphous Sculptures
March 7, 2022

Along with delicate flowers in porcelain, Berlin-based artist Angelika Arendt applies minuscule orbs, dots, and thin, curved lines to her meticulously textured sculptures. Amorphous in shape but distinct in the organic matter they evoke, her intricate works often mimic processes found in nature, including plant growth and cells as they swell and burst into new life. Some pieces appear mid-movement, like expanding molecules, and others drip or peel to reveal fields thick with foliage and other tactile elements. More Continue reading

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Boinggg! Ceramic Vessels Undergo a Playful Remix with Coiled, Undulating Handles
February 24, 2022

Miami-born Kassandra Guzman diverges from the sleek, straight lines of minimalism in favor of squiggles and waves. She’s the ceramicist behind the Seattle-based studio Kuu Pottery, where she creates wide-mouthed vessels and playful vases mimicking bananas and other fruits. Part of her Boinggg! collection, many of the amphora and mugs have classically shaped bases with atypical handles that coil in lengthy runs and create undulating bows.
Guzman has a few projects in the works, including an illustrated series and a new body of ceramics printed with decals. More Continue reading

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Loops and Coils in Bright Gradients Grow from Claire Lindner’s Ceramic Sculptures
February 6, 2022

Vine-like colorful coils of material overlap in Claire Lindner’s latest sculpture collection, which blurs the line between organic and human-made forms. Each piece has a vibrancy and motion designed to push the possibilities of the medium. “My ideas are guided by the evocation of the living,” she tells Colossal. “I try through movement and color to combine images of vegetation, the animal or the mineral world, the body as if everything was made of the same substance.”
Lindner plays on oppositions when designing her ceramics to “create a visual confusion that triggers our imagination.” She creates tensions between aesthetics and textures, including soft and hard, light and heavy, and attractive and repulsive. More Continue reading

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Dreamlike Sculptures by Christina Bothwell Meld Ceramic, Glass, and Oil Paint into Otherworldly Figures
January 24, 2022

From her Pennsylvania studio, Christina Bothwell (previously) sculpts surreal hybrid creatures and figures that occupy the unearthly space between dreams and wakefulness. She works with a combination of annealed glass, pit-fired ceramics, oil paint, and small mosaic tiles, which each correspond to a conceptual element. “I always come back to the idea that the physical part of us is just a small part of who we are in our entirety,” the artist tells Colossal. More Continue reading

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Ceramic Figurines by Claire Partington Put a Contemporary Twist on Historical Symbols
January 11, 2022

Citing traditional portraiture and figurative ceramics, London-based artist Claire Partington (previously) sculpts grand characters with a dose of contemporary wit: Lavishly outfitted women lose their heads to anthropomorphized octopuses, a flip flop-wearing fairy dozes alongside empty beer bottles, and sneakers and a cellphone lie next to “Sleeping Beauty.” Infused with mythological symbols and references to folklore, the delicate figurines meld history and culture across time periods and prompt questions about interpretation and narrative. More Continue reading

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