Milan Pekar is a ceramic designer and maker, owner of Milan Pekar Studio in Prague, Czech Republic. He is considered to be one of the most important makers in the field of contemporary Czech ceramics and porcelain. He was born and educated in Prague and currently holds a position as assistant professor at the Applied Art University in Prague.
For the last 4 years Milan has been concentrating on the development of Crystalline Glazes, a particular mixture of ceramic glaze ingredients which is applied on vases and fired to high temperature. After spending countless hours and overcoming many disastrous results, he finally reached the satisfactory formulation. The manipulation of temperature creates the perfect environment for crystallines to grow on the surface of the vase. This isn’t an easy process because during the cooling down period many crystallines can crack. Crystallines grow differently in certain shapes and sizes and react differently with particular ingredients. Subsequently, each vase is a unique piece. Crystalline Glaze’s technique is not new, but what makes Milan’s work different from other Crystalline Glazes is his creative use of colour combination and design shapes.
Alice Walton is a British ceramic artist whose intriguing labyrinthine forms have attracted international acclaim. With a forensic eye, Walton translates the seemingly familiar into highly complex and multi-layered porcelain objects. Despite featuring intensely textured surfaces and complex colours, Walton’s work is also recognised for its meditative qualities. It is this tension between the repetitive and experimental, the calm and the kinetic that make her objects so compelling.
Walton uses a landscape of objects, crafted from individual components to create abstract scenes. This repetitive nature of mark-making in turn mimics the constant review of familiar objects on daily commutes. As references, she combines collaged photography and drawing from memory which are bought into her studio to work from. This research then pivots her work away from the literal into an imaginary collection of objects.
Her desire to stave off our digital riddled and splintered multi-realities is remedied through a process of intensely tactile moulding technique. Deliberately contemplative, her work creates a time capsule of discovery for the viewer with its intricately detailed markings drawing them in.
VLADIMIR GROH and YASUYO NISHIDA
Yasuyo Nishida & Vladimir Groh , an artist couple who interpret the beauty of unpretentious practical utensils by combining the texture beauty of porcelain itself with the colour produced by soluble metal oxides.
Yasuyo, from Japan, graduated from the Musashino University of Fine Arts with a professional education background. Vladimir, from the Czech Republic, has extensive exhibition experiences and participation in seminars. He was the president of the Brno Ceramics Association. They started working together in 2005.
Yasuyo and Vladimir have been committed to different decorative techniques, especially in soluble metal salts, an ancient and difficult ceramic decorative technique, and they have become experts in this field. In 2015 they were invited to work on this theme in the artist residency at Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan.
The couple's goal in their creation is to dissolve the colourful watercolours into the surface of the original white porcelain and to interpret the gentle and profound beauty in their daily life.
Ireland / Netherlands
In a studio on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam a lump of clay and an invitation to make something was, I did not know it then, to be my future. Between times in the studio making forms to an end I did not comprehend I acted in short movies taking classes in the Stanislavski method.
The events in Northern Ireland in 1981 galvanised my mind to clarity. I realised the shapes I was making in the studio were a language of expression. As a composer finds sound, a painter colour and a writer words I found form in clay and it was what people called art and was necessary. There was no choice but to commit myself and to this end I went to Kyoto where the Sodeisha Group the best in my field were based. I lived and worked there for three and a half years with a rough studio on the edge of Kiyomizu. Honing my coiling skills under the eye of Tosai Sawamura the elder, I was deeply inspired by the works of Hayashi Yasuo and Arioka Susumu.
Everything I know is in my art work, I don’t always understand what I know.