By Tom Morris
Joy and other expressions of the new wave of ceramics
Throughout the twentieth century, ceramics was broadly divided into two sectors. Studio pottery, which was a reaction against the mass-made wares of the industrial revolution, and fine art by contemporary artists, who just happened to use clay in their practice but rejected many of its traditional codes of practice. The unprecedented surge in the popularity of ceramics in the last five years has helped forge a new type of potter: ceramic designer. Part-craftsman, part designer, they bridge ceramic craft, collectable design, and fine art. These ceramicists include product designers who use clay as a means of creative expression and classically trained potters who create design-led pieces, in addition to interior decorators, illustrators, and graphic designers. Their collective output includes furniture, decorative objects, murals, and vessels: not art, not craft, but design. The book’s ambition is to show the diversity of this area of creative production and how history, craft, technology, and design are all intersecting in the present day, creating a new type of designer―and a new type of ceramicist. The book is divided into four thematic chapters and accompanied by written contributions from designers, decorators, and collectors.