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When Ceramics meet Botanics

by Grace Bonney

Ceramics are a great love of mine. They always have been. When I was a child, my Mum worked for a Ceramicist part-time {in her gallery shop}…and I remember being taken to the ceramics workshop a few times where production happened…the cold slippery floors, damp atmosphere and rows of lined up thrown objects, slip cast moulds – all so captivating. These days I like to collect [read; buy!] ceramics, especially very simple, beautiful pieces and with Botanical inspired patterns or delicate colouring. I have a good mix for you here today, including a few designers who are new to me but will be placed firmly in my bookmarked sites to visit list, and a few favourite makers as well!

Angela Valamanesh makes these fantastic simple and stylised seed-pod forms in deep and earthy colours. I find them really amazing and captivating…objects I know I would want to pick up! She is an Australian designer-maker but I was delighted to read that she completed a residency some years ago at Glasgow School of Art {my old Art School}….

I love this conceptual piece of design from Damian O’Sullivan…playing on the idea of prosthetics and beauty. I especially like the old Delftware pattern {which I adore} [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delftware] on the eye-patch and the way he had turned something slightly uncomfortable into something beautiful…I think the floral motif has played a huge role in that task!

I have coveted these ‘Flowers of Spring’ porcelain magnets from Parisian shop Le Petit Atelier de Paris for rather a long time. All attempts thus far to get my hands on a set has proved unsuccessful…however, they are so pretty I am more than willing to take a trip to France just to pick some up….! ;)

Ida Just Møller is a Ceramicist I discovered a while ago through dear ada – her intricate and complex surface textures capturing the busy and fragile nature of roses and floral displays…all kept very tranquil through the use of a limited palette and matt textures. Extremely pretty work…I would love to see some of her pieces in person and see their scale.

I am always drawn to Daniel Reynolds pieces, so when I knew I was talking about Botanical Ceramics I knew I had to include his fantastic work…I like this spin on botanicals, the seed-pods and gourds, all from the natural world of course but a little removed from what might instantly spring to mind. I have seen some of his pieces in person and have only narrowly escaped giving in and buying one of his gourd pieces. I have a feeling I won’t be able to say that for very long….the white of these are so alluring and I love the way the light shines through their stunningly natural and uneven forms.

I couldn’t write about floral and botanical inspired Ceramics without mentioning Karin Eriksson… whose gorgeous imagery placed onto simple hand thrown white forms beautifully draws on the natural world…from historical floral patterns, to simple and linear hand drawn forms – always capturing the essence of growth in a very divine and unique way. I own a few of Karin’s pieces, which are just as lovely to use as they are to look at!

For me, the ultimate realisation of natural forms [in clay] comes from Swedish Ceramicist Mia E. Göransson – her stunning technical ability and eye for form and delicacy just amazes me. I saw her work several years ago in Elle Decoration UK, and had spent many hours looking for that article before Karin Eriksson mentioned her name during her podcast here last year. Naturally, I was delighted to be able to find her stunning work again….her pieces now objects I look to again and again for inspiration and delight.

More tomorrow!

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  • Ida Just Moller’s roses are beautiful.

    I love Karin Eriksson’s ceramics, too. And I love her photography.

    Bibbi Forsman is a wonderful ceramic artist and many of her pieces fit this theme. I think you’d enjoy her work.

  • Hey Abigail,

    I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to see this at the Hunterian Art Gallery but there’s a ceramic series by a Glaswegian artist (I think! Her name escapes me) re-interpreting Delftware patterns on skulls. It’s fab! My friend Trent (whose family was involved in Delft production in Holland) and I saw it when he visited Glasgow. He said his mum would die if she saw it. Sacrilege!

  • i loooooooooove the flower magnets too!! and her website and such beautiful pieces too. so simple but so smart. and the photography is also lovely; makes me want to go to paris also, to buy everything..

  • i am intrigued by Damian O’Sullivan’s patch and i want to see other stuff he has done. so i linked to his website, but his sight doesn’t work.

  • It won’t let me go to Damian O Sullivan’s link either. Got a 404 error – looks like the site might be down?

  • Worked fine for me yesterday and last night, so I think the site may just be temporarily down…{the link is correct, so perhaps one to bookmark and check back on in a few days}…thanks everyone!

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