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Look Inside the Practice of Four Up-And-Coming Ceramicists

In many professions, being asked to show your half-finished work would be tantamount to torture. (On my computer, you’d find a quote from a designer, followed by lots of lorem ipsum, followed by a big space where I got up to get a snack). But at London’s Royal College of Art — and at many other design schools — there’s a whole open house and exhibition devoted to students’ work in progress in the middle of each year. So when one of our London correspondents, Sioban Imms, embarked on a scouting trip to this year’s program and asked if we might want to feature four emerging talents in the RCA’s Ceramics & Glass program, we jumped at the chance. What we found there was a study in experimentation — clay that had been manipulated into terrazzo-like slabs, perforated bricks, stringy lumps, punched-in blobs, donut-like lamps, and meticulous geometrics — and almost nothing that looked like it had been turned on a traditional potter’s wheel. Read on for a glimpse into the practice of four promising young ceramicists — and perhaps a peek inside the medium’s increasingly experimental future.

Ines Suarez de Puga

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“By placing stained earthenware inlays onto a colored earthenware base, I create a surface reminiscent of Venetian terrazzo. A fresh color palette and jumbo tiles allow me to then utilize these pieces in other contexts such as furniture and tableware.”

Victoria Andrew

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“These pieces are about creating compositions that find a visual balance; as you move the objects around, there are areas that are revealed or hidden, yet work as a whole. These elements are interchangeable, and because of this, photography plays a big role in documenting the different iterations. The colors are dictated by the materials. The geometric forms are references to architectural structures, with materials commonly used in cities, which form a huge part of our surroundings. The materials are selected to best reflect their natural qualities; each form highlights elements unique to the material that may be overlooked in day-to-day use.”

Mette Marie Lyng-Petersen​

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“When I begin my projects, I like to imagine that I’m a set designer. I try to create an atmosphere that I want to reach by imagining characters, smells, surfaces, sounds, etc. Then I bring that into small-scale modeling and test-making where I play around with compositions of objects. My inspiration for this work consists of my interest in furniture design and a memory of a trip to Elvis Presley’s house, Graceland — a fascination with the interior and atmosphere of the place. The almost vulgar and pompous compositions of materials and shape made a big impression on me. I am interested in the space we live in, and the objects we surround ourselves with. How a composition can have a crucial influence on atmosphere, manipulation of the perception of different materials. My language has connotations of objects from the home and the boundaries between functional and sculptural object merge.”

Yao Wang

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“This group of pure forms is an experiment in turning on the lathe. Some forms were designed while others were made intuitively and responsively with close attention to curves, edges and proportions. The qualities and characteristics of these forms are highlighted when juxtaposed. The spinning, balance, and tension between the forms depict the notion of dancing.”