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Harvey Bouterse’s New Ceramic Lamp is a Study in Contrasting Textures

It's basically our job here at Sight Unseen to follow the career trajectory of up-and-coming designers, and in our professional capacity, we've come to realize that most ceramicists follow a certain path: First come the smalls, like cups and mugs and plates and vases. The next step is usually lamps — think of Natalie Weinberger's pleated clay shades, Workaday Handmade's listing table lamps, and BZIPPY's pyramid-shaped bases. Today, we're featuring one of the first lamps by Belgium-based Harvey Bouterse.
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Nicolette Johnson Assemblage vases

These Surrealist-Inspired Vases Are the Breakthrough That Resulted From a Creative Block

At the beginning of the pandemic, some designers may have viewed the ensuing solitude as an opportunity to "bloom where you grow." But not everyone found it easy to stay inspired. "After lockdown started in the early months of 2020, I felt completely unmotivated to make work," confesses the Brisbane ceramicist Nicolette Johnson. After a while, however, Johnson gave herself permission to make literally anything, and began sculpting shapes out of soft clay — inspired by Surrealist and Constructivist motifs — and attaching them to small wheel-thrown vases.
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BZIPPY’s Outsized Ceramic Works Are the Statement in the Room — Not the Accent

If you’re lucky enough to ever see one of LA-based artist and sculptor Bari Ziperstein’s outsized ceramic works in person, the combination of scale, texture, and hue might stop you in your tracks. Her design studio, BZIPPY, creates striking, often Brutalist-inspired ceramic vases, lamps, and furniture, while within her complementary fine art practice, Ziperstein has been known to explore meticulously manicured fingers, dimensionality, or the aesthetics of Soviet propaganda. With her robust dual practice, Ziperstein welcomes decorative ceramics into the fine art conversation, and vice versa.
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Cape Town ceramicist Ceri Muller

The Cape Town Ceramicist Making Crinkled Vases and Clay Faces

Here’s a tip for anyone suffering from the fear of starting something creative: Make the ugliest thing you can think of. That’s the genius bit of advice that ceramics artist Ceri Muller’s partner gave her when she felt blocked, faced with her first lump of clay. “I did that and carried on doing it and those ugly little things morphed into these heads that I grew to really love,” she says.
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Week of April 6, 2020

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a reissued Nanna Ditzel chair, a stylish oasis in the desert, and the only pocket knife we'd pay $375 to probably never use.
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Think Face Pottery Is a Millennial Thing? Meet the Artist Who’s Been Doing It Since the ’70s

When Jill and I posted pictures of our favorite books on Instagram last week, mine featured one of my favorite objects in my living room, shown above: A pot, used by me as a planter, that features two hand-painted, color-blocked pastel faces. I bought it on eBay for $10 a year and a half ago. I don't remember how I found it. I had no idea, at the time, who the maker was, only that her name was Victoria Crowell and I assumed she was an obscure local artisan who made the pot in the '80s. I was mostly correct.
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Week of March 2, 2020

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a scathing takedown of the millennial aesthetic, the first-ever museum exhibition on ASMR, and oh, a bunch of new design objects, too.
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Katie Stout and the Subversion of American Craft

In her latest solo exhibition at Nina Johnson Gallery in Miami, called Sour Tasting Liquid, Katie Stout focuses her experiments exclusively in ceramics, exploring processes like slab-building, mosaic, pinching, kintsugi, and more to make a body of work that is at once figurative and abstract, logical and absurd.
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Cape Town Ceramicist Jade Paton’s Quirky, Hand-Formed Vessels

Ceramic artist Jade Paton’s parents own a well-known florist in Cape Town where she’s spent many hours working, twisting bouquets, and building installations. It’s fitting then that she now uses her hands to make vessels that look particularly wonderful when filled with flowers. But don’t be mistaken — her ceramic pieces are equally inspired by her background in sculpture during her studies in fine art and would hold their own in a white cube. “I believe that the boundaries between art and design are more blurred than ever before,” she says. “I like that my pieces feel both functional and sculptural.”
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Muuto’s Ultra-Chubby Kink Vase and Tableau’s Art Florals Are a Match Made in Heaven

When American-born, Rotterdam-based designer Rachel Griffin of Earnest Studio launched her ceramic Kink Vase during New York Design Week two years ago, it became something of an instant icon. This, of course, was just as the appetite for so-called "chubby design" was reaching its frenzied peak, and the Kink, with its double-mouthed, binoculars-on-a-marshmallow-bender form was perfect fodder. Lucky for us, the vase was recently picked up by Muuto, where it will sell for just $200 and still be available in that cozy sky blue.
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Get Ready To Fall In Love With Caudex Studio, Brooklyn’s Haute Couturier Of Ceramics

Caudex Studio is something of a secret, if anything with a website and an Instagram account could be considered as such these days. Launched late last year by fledgling ceramicist Éloïse Larochelle (who cut her teeth in fashion design in Givenchy's atelier and—in case those cross-disciplinary bonafides don't suffice—had the brand's logo designed by a friend at M/M Paris), Caudex planters are one-of-a-kind, wheel-thrown and made in two pieces—a drainage-friendly top set on a glaze-lined base that collects water, "for optimal plant health."
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