In the last months, I have discovered the beautiful work of a few artisans-artists. Glassblowers, woodcarvers, ceramicists … Their work has profoundly touched me and I want to share my appreciation of their creative practice.
Ariele Alasko is a full-time sculptor and woodworker. She attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and has a BFA in sculpture. Ariele started working with wood and building furniture for her own apartment shortly after she graduated in 2009, and it swiftly grew from a fun hobby taking place in her small living room, to a full-time job. She lived and worked in Brooklyn for eleven years and now lives on the west coast.
John Ward is regarded as one of Britain’s great potters. There is no reference book on contemporary ceramics which does not feature his work. Ward’s handbuilt pots are shown on both sides of the Atlantic. A base is pinched out and flattened coils of clay are added to produce hollow forms. These are sometimes altered at the leather-hard stage, by cutting and rejoining to create ridges and grooves between curving surfaces. Finally, they are scrapped and partly burnished with a pebble. John only uses matt glazes and most pots are twice-fired in an electric kiln. The main influences on his work are simple forms of ancient pre-glaze pottery from China and Egypt, early Cypriot pottery and early Persian bowls. More recent influences have been the legendary potters, the late Hans Coper and the late Dame Lucie Rie. The work of Hans Coper for its formal strength, Lucie Rie for light and colour, and the potter Ian Godfrey for playfulness with form and texture.
Ruth Duckworth was a British sculptor who was best known for her smooth ceramic works of abstract forms derived from nature. Finding much of her inspiration from early Bronze Age Cycladic sculptures, Duckworth’s works have smooth and elongated silhouettes with slight details to insinuate the face and limbs. Born Ruth Windmüller on April 10, 1919 in Hamburg, Germany to a Jewish father and Christian mother, she was forced to leave Germany in 1936 and study abroad at the Liverpool College of Art in the United Kingdom due to Nazi restrictions on Jewish students. She initially worked as a tombstone engraver in England, and later moved to Chicago to teach at the University of Chicago in 1964. Her works are in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, among others. Duckworth died on October 18, 2009 in Chicago, IL where she had spent the last 45 years of her life.
Korean-born Soojin Kang lives and works in London. She has been working on her full-time art practice since she graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2009. Her practice has been evolving from an early interest in fashion and textile design through a diverse range of media, including woven sculpture, tapestry, installation and video. Her objective is to infuse the sense and idea of emotional sustainability through craftsmanship.
Studio E.O & Erik Olovsson
Studio E.O is a Stockholm based design studio. It was founded 2013 by Erik Olovsson and works within the fields of product, furniture, and graphic design. Studio E.O has a focus on methods and creating systems when designing. The studio aims at having an intuitive and experimental starting point in the projects and works in a mix of self-initiated projects and commissions. Studio E.O strives to stay out of comfort zones and encourages work in various fields and techniques.
Erik Olovsson is an independent designer and was born 1982 in Uppsala, Sweden. He graduated 2012 from Konstfacks MA Storytelling program. Olovsson originally studied Fine Art and Photography at Konstskolan in Stockholm and later Graphic Design at Berghs SOC. Olovsson worked as an art director at the creative collective Acne for 3 years.
Susana Bauer works with found natural objects. Leaves, stones, pieces of wood…ephemeral things, easily overlooked. And she uses crochet; sometimes as embellishment, but mostly in a more unconventional way as a means of sculpture and construction.
There is a fine balance in her work between fragility and strength; literally, when it comes to pulling a fine thread through a brittle leaf or thin dry piece of wood, but also in a wider context – the tenderness and tension in human connections, the transient yet enduring beauty of nature that can be found in the smallest detail, vulnerability and resilience that could be transferred to nature as a whole or the stories of individual beings.
Tobias Møhl is a modernist who creates elegant vessels, understated in both form and color – complex but never flamboyant. As the New York Times critic Roberta Smith wrote in a review ‘the work of Tobias Møhl, a Danish glassmaker impresses sotto voce with small bowls crisscrossed with infinitesimal threads of color.’ Combining an extraordinary technical mastery of his craft with an exquisite level of taste, he successfully translates a historically Italian glass-making idiom into his own, distinctly Scandinavian voice.
Møhl’s work is included in collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY; Memorial Art Museum, Rochester, NY; Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany; The Danish Museum of Decorative Art, Copenhagen, Denmark and other public and private collections in the USA and Europe. A studio artist and teacher, Tobias Møhl works and resides in Ebeltoft, Denmark.