Our 296-page survey of 55 international ceramicists – New Wave Clay – has proven so successful that it’s gone into reprint a little over a year after initial publication. Authored by the London-based design editor and consultant Tom Morris, the book tells the stories of the potters, product designers, fine artists, architects, decorators, illustrators, sculptors and graphic designers who use clay as a means of creative expression, and are jump-starting the age-old art.
To mark the occasion, we share an excerpt highlighting the work of Australian-architect-turned-potter Bruce Rowe. Be sure to get your copy today.
Melbourne – Bruce Rowe runs the Melbourne brand Anchor Ceramics, which produces handmade lighting, tiles and planters, selling to interior designers, architects and some stores across Australia and beyond. Rowe then swaps making ceramics for the built environment in order to make the built environment out of clay.
His sculptures are composed of architectural elements assembled in strange compositions: constructions made of stairs, passageways, bridges and arches. They are never literal images of actual architecture, but creative interpretations with a De Chirico-like surreal quality.
‘The works do not directly reference any specific place, building or structure. Whilst educated in the structural and spatial language of architecture, my practice combines this knowledge with an inquiry into the symbolic function and aesthetic activity of visual art,’ he says.
The trained architect began making small, singular pieces but soon progressed into series of structures that make up a whole. Stoneware clay was joined in his toolkit by terracotta, a material usually used to make bricks, rather appropriately. There is a direct relationship between sculpture and architecture for Rowe. ‘They hold close connections as enduring human art forms,’ he says. ‘Both disciplines involve the body, materiality, light, scale, form and space. The articulation of space is a constant calling through the works.’
This piece was originally featured in New Wave Clay. You can purchase a copy here.