Virginia Sin Can Make Literally Anything Out of Ceramic

The first thing Virginia Sin ever made that caught our eye was a paper picnic plate, reimagined in white porcelain. At the time, we didn’t think too much of it because humble objects recast in ceramic — from milk cartons to coffee cups — were a dime a dozen. But something about that plate stuck with us. Maybe it’s because porcelain so adroitly mimics paper’s texture and hue, but more than 10 years on, it seems less kitschy than timeless — as well as a harbinger of innovations to come.

Sin has been working out of her Brooklyn studio since she moved to New York from Los Angeles years ago, and her ceramics and housewares — typically made from neutral-colored, hand-built clay — have often caught our eye at trade shows and on sites like Need Supply.  But her most recent collection takes the Brooklyn ceramicist to a whole other level; in it, Sin tests the structural limits of clay by creating thinly rolled table bases and shelf supports from unglazed stoneware. At first glance, she explains, the shelves in particular may look like “a throwback to the cinder block shelving found in architects’ studios. However, our modular Cylinder Shelving System actually takes inspiration from something much closer to home — the rituals of kiln firing. Since the advent of ceramics in ancient times, stilts and posts provided stability and structure within kilns, so that objects of various sizes might be stacked, loaded, fired and unloaded without breaking.” Scroll through for a look at this clever re-contextualization as well as a look at some of our other recent faves.

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