The rebirth of ceramics lifestyle
Five global ceramic talents who are breaking the mould.
For years, the ceramic medium has been at the cutting-edge of art and design. Manual creativity is freeing, constructing a new interior imagination, a new sensibility.
Contemporary ceramics seek their roots in every corner of the globe, each with its own native clay, its own potter’s wheel, its own kiln and unique processes. It is about innovation – without neglecting age-old techniques: something that can be seen in ceramics workshops, associations, schools and centres that have sprung up in rural and urban settings all over the world. They are the true stars of this material’s rebirth.
It is now five years since the launch of one of the most prominent awards in the world of craftsmanship: the LOEWE Craft Prize. Led by Sheila Loewe, The Loewe Foundation promotes this international contest which shows a distinctly global perspective in craftsmanship. It highlights fresh takes on leather, textiles and glass, but the ceramics category is where we see a more conceptual dimension.
Prize winners and finalists include ceramic creators Hyejeong Kim, Xavier Toubes, Jack Doherty, Bodil Manz, Irina Razumovskaya and Jennifer Lee.
Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, the panel of expert’s Executive Secretary and Chair of the Craft Prize Jury states: “We always feel the need to share all the information we have: the images, the beauty, the good ideas, the barriers we manage to break with the work. That’s why we love having artists and artisans from all over the world, to spread a message”.
LOEWE’s Creative Director Jonathan Anderson promoted the event to highlight the artisanal origins of the firm and its relevance to contemporary design. The LOEWE FOUNDATION Craft Prize emerged as a response to a desire to recognise these important contributions. The exhibition’s works reveal the current progress of craftsmanship, including work in ceramics, jewellery, wood, glass, paper and lacquer, among other mediums.
In the context of our desire to discover the material and the artisan we all carry within, ceramics triumph in the international media, social networks and awards, serving as an indicator for new pathways for experimentation in crafts, art and design.
Here is our selection of five international exhibitors who stand out for their creative ceramic processes.
She has dedicated her life to ceramics, to exploring its limits and extremes as a creative medium and art form. Her interpretation of the traditional way of working clay is based on her own research and experience in several Italian cities: Gubbio, Deruta, Faenza, Florence and Vicenza. She is especially interested in the beauty and simplicity of forms. Her latest approach to paper textures is also noteworthy, blending components such as pulp, natural fibres and clay.
The French designer – of objects and design strategies encompassing the physical and digital – has collaborated with the Yatzer platform in a collection with Swedish ceramic brand Mateus.
The pieces in the collection are handmade and painted by hand, featuring a neutral colour palette and a restrained, simple design language.
He takes inspiration from ancient handmade ceramics, with imperfections but stylistically well-defined. A modern, timeless and at the same time elemental concept.
The Japanese designer, specialising in contemporary ceramics, lives in New York and works from her studio in Brooklyn.
Fantasy is one of her creative drivers, and her ceramic pieces are suspended in the air, creating a theatrical effect with an immense visual impact.
“My pieces levitate, they move within the space, creating their own dynamics in the interiors they inhabit… they are free” , Yuko Nishikawa tells Lifestyle at the latest Wanted – a New York designer talent exhibition.
Her ceramic works are very much connected to light and mobiles. Her forms usher us into her world of bulbs, irregular balls and hands.
A Japanese native settled in Seville, she comes from a line of master sushi chefs in Tokyo who passed on the importance of crockery in Japanese cuisine to her.
Her work ranges from homeware, decorative pieces and lighting to jewellery, inspired by various concepts – nature and her memories above all.
Her latest work incorporates animals that add a functional dimension to each piece.
Irene Biolchini is one of the main curators at the International Museum of Faenza Ceramics in Italy. The museum has its own historical collection and a wide-ranging programme dedicated to the recognition of contemporary ceramics.
Two years ago, she began working on a ceramic collection with the great Spanish artist Miquel Barceló.
It was an exceptional exhibition, curated by her and Cécile Pinheau Lesteven, featuring new works by Barceló that highlight the significant connection between ceramics and art and design.