Living Ceramic Shapes

Today I was throwing a number of vases, a very direct way to discover living ceramic shapes. I can make sketches, view contours on  internet or in a museum. But when I feel the clay going through my hands, the shapes takes hold of my mind and body as a whole.

Ceramic Shapes SketchesVases are great, they have a function, but they are mainly about form. Why is this vase “in balance” and this one not so much? What is a beautiful shape and why (not)? Visually, a (thrown) vase should have proper proportions, be in balance. Details should serve the shape as a whole. Finish should fit the design, (visual) weight the content. The intention has to match the result.

There are many more design principles that need to be reckoned with or taken into account. But pure shape I see best without glaze, without color, right after turning….

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Funnelbeakers, ceramic design from the Stone Age

When I think of ceramic design, I think of Dutch Design, Scandinavian Design or more in general modern industrial design. But modern ceramic design is much more than that. Design is comprehensive and modern is not an invention of the 20th century. Modern design is as old as humanity itself.

In this part of the world you need to dig more then 7,500 years in the past to find design pottery; the Linear Pottery Culture. Typical are the serried  band decorations that are scratched in the outer walls of the earthenware. With this, the Younger Stone Age (Neolithic) was inaugurated in Europe .

Modern Funnel cupsBut for me this is a very outdated design, I  don’t want anything to do with that. As a contemporary world citizen, I prefer to be inspired by modern funnelbeaker ceramics….

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