little joseph, 2005 produced by: qubus

as part of the london design festival designboom curated an exhibition of contemporary ceramic wares from 163 established and upcoming designers from 35 countries. the 500 + pieces on show express subjects and details of everyday life, their departure from tradition, and the current conflict of ecology and consumerism.

the search for the experiential, the pleasure in making extends beyond the ‘design of form’. since their origin, ceramic works have expanded the functional dimension and contemporary production engenders ornamentation, sculpture and installation. context does change. no technique is inert or ahistorical. by creating form out of formlessness, by rearranging parts of ‘found objects’, by breaking down volumes and avoiding hints of utility, the designers draw themselves into a continuity of tradition and provoke unexpected reactions.

the huge variety on show was no coincidence as ceramic production offers the designers the freedom to self-produce independently from industry. the exhibition attempted to map a territory that is complex and within which many of the themes seem to parallel each other, expressions of the ‘decorative’ and the ‘spiritual’. for the first time ever, the condensed state of art of current ceramic craft was presented in an exhibition from such an international origin.

venue: ‘designersblock, shoreditch high street, east london dates: september 19 – 23, 2007

handled with care: maxim velcovsky maxim velcovsky portrait © designboom