Today’s ceramic art creators generally introduce themselves with terms such as craftsman, artisan, potter, ceramist, ceramicist, artist ceramist, sculptor ceramicist and so on. Whether you say ceramist or ceramicist, the term itself is directly related to a creator of ceramic pieces. Although everybody could think over it as a long-standing word, it is an incorrect idea. Actually, it is a recent term that first comes up in the 20th century. Before then, one could only find descriptions of potters and artisans handcrafting pieces just as functional tableware or home décor.
The 20th-century European avant-garde movement brought along a new wave of art, with a group of artists out to break every rule about what art should be. This avant-garde movement had a profound influence over every artistic discipline: however it is less known that pottery was not an exception to this influence. Pottery drew attention from those artists who found it as a powerful medium to convey their radical ideas. Many potters worked together with avant-garde artists, such as the internationally famous Pablo Picasso who created his signature pottery pieces in collaboration with the potter Georges Ramié. Although these are great artworks, most of those pottery pieces looked just like canvas to show pictorial works. Nevertheless, this new way to understand every pottery piece amazed a new generation of potters so much that pottery was not the same practice any more. Following this departure, more and more potters began to work on radical new pieces far away from traditional pottery. This was the dawn of contemporary ceramic.
Contemporary ceramic introduced a new creator for the 20th century - the phoenix of the artist and scientist. This revelation embodied the principles of contemporary ceramic, based on modern science, specifically chemistry. The very old vision of a potter taking clay from riverbank is older than the first man-made pots. Modern chemistry taught potters to make different kind of clays and glazes, modifying their chemical properties. Contemporary ceramic creators around the world are connoisseur of Seger formula, thanks to the German chemist Hermann August Seger who worked out the basics of the constitution of different clay and systematized the raw materials according to their properties. Thus contemporary ceramic creators are able to achieve amazing textures and shades onto their ceramic creations. It is nothing to be about ancient secret recipes, it is modern chemistry.
Avant-garde artists broke into ceramic, bringing a new radical artistic thinking for potters' work. Innovative ceramic creators breathed new life into age-old pottery practice. New ceramic tendencies showed up in the art world, and shook up the mind-set of potters from Western to Eastern cultures. Every single detail of pottery pieces was transformed in order to create the new ceramic artwork. Contemporary ceramic art had arrived to stay, demanding its own place in the art world.
Contemporary ceramic creators have inherited that big movement, and now it is time to drive ceramic artwork beyond that. Globalisation means the world is connecting every ceramic creator to different cultures. As a result, new tendencies have arisen right across the globe. Ceramic creators are searching for new ways of artistic expression, pushing ceramic art boundaries constantly. Multi-disciplinary artists learn contemporary ceramic techniques to create new types of mixed media artworks. Ceramic engineers are researching new clays and glazes. New technologies specifically for ceramic art are nearly there, bringing enormous change to every contemporary ceramic creator around the world: for starters, look at the impact of innovative 3D Printers based on ceramic clay.
However, the good news is potters will keep making nice handcrafted pottery pieces for home décor and tableware, which is fine, too!
I am a passionate globetrotter, having travelled and lived throughout the world. As an artist, I need to travel to look for new ideas from life itself, to experience first-hand different people, traditions and cultures. This is the most important source of knowledge to create my ceramic artwork.
My latest series of contemporary ceramic art “ GEMS OF GLACIERS ” will immerse you in an awe-inspiring journey throughout Antarctica's icy world. Every single detail in these porcelain creations will catch your senses; a blinking white will hit your eyes while a deep blue will make your body feel the ice water. Like colossal glaciers, these porcelain creations will appear in front of you showing their hypnotic shapes. Their bending forms, intimidating cracks and frozen glaze seem to be just about to come alive.
To learn more, visit www.lopezmarcos.com or contact +34 91 468 04 34. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
Lopez Marcos, international Artist & Ceramist