Photos: Alexandra Nataf
Ceramic objects have always been with us, since the beginning of what is called civilization. In wall paintings across time, are images of clay vessels. It is the one medium at which all cultures experimented and excelled, driven by their basic need for things with which to carry: water and wine, grain and dirt. These objects played an essential role in the real life of people and communities, but they weren’t simply functional. Ceramics act as archives; they preserve and record everything about the time in which they existed. The true substance of ceramics is not, in fact, the clay, but time and the hands that shaped it. Each step, from concept to throwing to kiln, takes place over different times; each producing changes in the clay, until, upon firing, it has been irreversibly transformed. The finished ceramic object cannot be undone; it is permanent. Non-corrosive, non-recyclable and non-polluting, it is exceptionally strong, almost impossible to compress, and yet breakable. Unlike painting, that speaks directly to the eye, or sculpture that emulates the human form, ceramics is unique because its expression and its meaning is derived directly through touch. After decades of neglect, the medium is once again thriving. it’s a bit unexpected, that in a world so focused on the present, that this most ancient of all artistic forms would experience a revival. But here we are. Today, a new group of artists are working with clay and benefiting from the renewed interest. Each of these ceramicists is working in and around New York, but they arrived here from (and have worked in) very different environments. Each has a distinct approach but they are all, in their own way, rewriting the future of this ancient practice. -
Nothing will ever be as valuable as time is. its is out most modern indulgence. The one Right in front of us but the hardest to obtain. Sometimes the best thing you can do with your time is absolutely nothing. Decadence is now weekends going off the grid, folding away screens and powering off. What could be more expensive than sundays of downtime that have no direction but to escape from it all and hit refresh?
Photography: MATTHEW SPROUT
Styling: MORGAN WENDELBORN