Tuesday 27 May 2014

Zebra Egg Reloaded

As some of you know, a few weeks ago I injured my shoulder. The story is not that spectacular: I was working in my garden; I slipped and broke my arm. So, it will take a few more weeks and a lot of physiotherapy until I can soil my hands with clay again. In the meantime, I will be digging through my photo archive to show you some of my old works and projects.

One of my favourite past projects was to photograph some cute baby animals and my ceramics: The sillier the combination, the better. Here is a baby turtle and a zebra egg.

A note to all the animal lovers out there: No animals were harmed during this photo shoot.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Ceramicist Or Potter

Danijela K., some 15 years ago...

What is the difference between a ceramicist and a potter? This is the most common question I am asked when I talk about my work. Honestly, I am not sure if there is a universal definition that can explain these two terms.

Intuitively I would say that a potter is a person who works with clay and produces mostly functional ware, pots. Just mention the word potter and immediately I have this mental black and white image of Bernard Leach working on his wheel. 

Also, the first thing that I connect with the word ceramicist is a person who not only makes functional pots, but also non-functional objects of art. Please note that I would never consider the sculptural art as non-functional; in this case the non-functionality refers strictly to tableware.

An artist who creates only sculptural clay art (if he doesn’t call himself a sculptor) would probably title himself a ceramicist rather than a potter just because of the association this word brings with it. 

If an archaeologist digs a small clay figurine from some ancient culture, as I was told, he or she would not call it a piece of pottery, but rather a piece of ceramics. On the other hand, if the same archaeologist digs a bowl he or she may name it both ceramics and pottery. 

I think that a lot of people consider the word ceramics as an umbrella term that covers functional work, sculptural work and everything in between. Also, there is the industrial aspect of the term ceramics. Just think of all areas that include ceramics like sanitary ware, architectural and medicinal ceramics, to name the few. Now the matter is becoming really complicated.

If you look at the origin of the word ceramic you may notice that it comes from Greek word keramos (κέραμος) which means potter’s earth or potter. I guess this explains a lot. Both ceramicists and potters work with the same material: both of them go through the same process of wedging the clay, forming, firing and glazing. 

So, it is a matter of preference how you want to call yourself if you work with clay. A ceramicist, a potter, a clay artist, a ceramic designer... Did I forget any?

I really don’t like putting things nicely organized in some semantic drawers with a tag on it. However when asked if I consider myself a potter or a ceramicist, I say that I am a ceramicist. Many times they respond: “Oh, so you are a potter!” Well, yes I guess I am. Both.

So, if there are any fellow clay makers out there, I am really curious: How do you call yourself?

Friday 9 May 2014

The Girl And The Wave

This is the fiftieth post of danci ceramics blog. I had big plans for this post. However, a few days ago I have injured my shoulder. It is nothing serious, but I am forced to slow down and do as little as possible. I cannot raise my arm and even typing these few lines is quite a challenge. If I were in Croatia now, I am sure that my physician would advise me to go to the beach and have a long bath in the sea. Sea salt (and olive oil) seems to be our national remedy for all kind of sufferings. 

This made me realise that the sea is so present in both my life and work. Here are few photos of sea wave inspired ceramics I did so far.