‘Being a potter is absurd in modern times’ – this phrase you can find on the first page of Introduction chapter by Alison Britton of ‘The new ceramics’ book published in 1986. The link that I’m searching for in this small visual research is retrospective – how old is the ‘new ceramics’? For those who were born in 1980s and 1990s the quote from Hans Coper that has been written in 1969 may sound extreme but still urgent – ‘Practicing a craft with ambiguous reference to purpose and function one has occasion to face absurdity’. Still the great amount of ceramic artists throughout the XX and XXI century have been reverting back to the basic shapes and rough finishing, but using the diversity of crafting technologies and visual references from different ages, cultures and geographies – antique Mediterranean, ancient Chinese and Japanese, European of ‘medium tempus’.
My interested to this topic started a couple of year ago with studying and collecting images of ceramics I could find on web. And these examples of pottery or ceramics for my totally ‘know-nothing’ mind were breathtaking and seemed to be so ‘contemporary’ and sophisticated in their simplicity, untidiness and rough beauty.