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The Beauty of Biomorphic Hand-Built Vessels

Earlier this year, I took a stab at a handbuilt piece inspired by the word “organic.” The first words that came to my mind were water and fire. I started with a base shape resembling a paint splatter and went from there. I built my piece from the bottom up using the coil techniques, which involve long rolls of clay and slow movements of slip and score.

Come six hours later, and a beautiful piece was born. I was thrilled with the result and the extensions coming out of the work as though it was lit into flames. A colleague challenged the composition's color— “What if we used green and blues and fired it at cone 10?”

The photos below show the final work; the two cool-toned glazes fired beautifully in the kiln. Not to mention the areas I had tediously applied wax resist to define features well complimented the composition of this piece. My favorite part about being a ceramist is the ability to capture forms unconventionally using clay. I look forward to challenging myself with new forms in the upcoming year of 2024!

To end on a fun note, I recently stumbled upon the artist Steen Ipsen, who is currently showcasing an array of biomorphic ceramics sculptures at a gallery in NYC. Please check out the article, as it exhibits an exquisite inspiration for ceramists like myself who admire abstract sculptures.

If you are in NYC this holiday season, the gallery is open until Dec 22, 2023, at HB381 Gallery on 381 Broadway in Manhattan.

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