Francesco Ardini: Porcelain Skin, 2012, Porcelain mixed with paper, Organic reagent, Plastic structure with tie rods, 1300°C

Francesco Ardini: Porcelain Skin, 2012, Porcelain mixed with paper, Organic reagent, Plastic structure with tie rods, 1300°C

Francesco Ardini: Porcelain Skin, 2012, Porcelain mixed with paper, Organic reagent, Plastic structure with tie rods, 1300°C

Francesco Ardini: Porcelain Skin, 2012, Porcelain mixed with paper, Organic reagent, Plastic structure with tie rods, 1300°C

David Gilbaugh: Temmoku Grained Bowl, 2011, carved bowl, hand-built slab, B-mix stoneware paper clay with grog, cone 10 reduction, black stain brushed in crevices, water washed iron and rutile stain over porcelain decorating slip

David Gilbaugh: Temmoku Grained Bowl, 2011, carved bowl, hand-built slab, B-mix stoneware paper clay with grog, cone 10 reduction, black stain brushed in crevices, water washed iron and rutile stain over porcelain decorating slip

Suzanne Stumpf: Diatoms, 2011, 16”w x 11”d x 3.5”h, handbuilt with wheelthrown components; porcelain and porcelain paperclay; oxidation fired to cone 10Interactive sculpture inspired by the beauty of these mysterious single-celled organisms. Upon learning that diatoms may also help against global warming, I was even more driven to “interpret” them.

Suzanne Stumpf: Diatoms, 2011, 16”w x 11”d x 3.5”h, handbuilt with wheelthrown components; porcelain and porcelain paperclay; oxidation fired to cone 10

Interactive sculpture inspired by the beauty of these mysterious single-celled organisms. Upon learning that diatoms may also help against global warming, I was even more driven to “interpret” them.

Interview with Antonella Cimatti, Spotlight - October 2011

Interview with Italian ceramic artist Antonella Cimatti - Spotlight - Recognized artist, October 2011

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→ The full interview with Antonella Cimatti is featured in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue One / Winter 2011-2012.

Ceramics Now Magazine
: You are a very consequent artist, having worked with ceramics all your career. Why did you embark on this journey?

Antonella Cimatti: I was born in Faenza, I studied in Faenza at the “Ballardini” Art Institute and I have been teaching at this same school for over 30 years. It has just been so natural to work with this material in this city, because it’s so well known throughout the world for its ceramics.

The techniques and subjects you are approaching are very different - paperclay, fibre optic installations and low temperature. Working with so many different materials may be difficult, how do you manage to combine them?

Well, I come from Italy, a country where the artists feel the weight of our history and ceramic traditions, but where there are also many new influences from the world of design and fashion!

In fact, in the last few years, in the design and fashion sectors there has been a notable trend regarding lightness and attention to detail, which is so incredibly in line with my way of being and working.

I believe that the greatest undertaking of the artist is that of professional maintenance. As a matter of fact, along with spontaneous creativity, you indissolubly must add an elevated professional competence regarding technique; through reading and observation, the joy of experimentation, of combining, and of moving forward.

Antonella Cimatti Contemporary Ceramics

Trame di luce (Weft of Light), detail, 2008 - View Antonella Cimatti’s works
Installation with translucent porcelain paperclay, fibre optics and handbuilt  flowers in glazed porcelain, temp. 1250°C.
Exhibited at the 54th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennial, in the Italian Pavilion, for the Emilia Romagna Region. Photographed by Bernardo Ricci

Your attention to detail makes your paperclay works unique and pure within their shadows. Tell us about the constructing process.

I’ll tell you how you can, while having an idea in mind, transform and tame my technique. 
My way of working is not traditional. My objective is to create a lightness in ceramics- not only regarding weight but also visually. I need to discover the right combination of materials in order to obtain the results you see.

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Margrieta Jeltema

Margrieta Jeltema's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works

Read the interview with Margrieta Jeltema, Ceramic technique / Paperclay, May 2011

“After many years spent in writing, painting and etching , using reams of paper, I ended up working with porcelain. Although I like making “normal” cups and plates, tiles with fishes, birds and fountains,  I like to experiment constantly and than, somehow,  I find myself using the material like paper or trying to make it look like paper; printed on, incised and folded.  
I am fascinated by the fragility but also the strength of this ceramic material and, perhaps due to the history of my journey through the world of art, I love  to transfer the qualities of paper to this material to resemble paper, crumpled. covered with writing and folded,  exploiting its transparency, its different surface qualities,  its capacity to catch and preserve  colors on the inside as well as on the outside , underneath  and over its glossy, satin or mat skin.
I stretch it, paint it, fold it, going to the limits of its strength, fragility and transparency. And it often leaves me in desperation because of its fragility.  It leaves me breathless with the feeling of happiness to see its fragile intensity.

For years I worked as an artist in the BKR, the Dutch Government Work agreement for artists before going abroad with my husband and three boys. At the same time I studied biology and philosophy at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands and followed etching courses in Amsterdam, bronze casting (lost wax) in Wageningen [with Ben Joosten] drawing from models at the Art Academy Minerva in Groningen.

My work (ceramics, etchings, paintings, art books, photographs) is displayed in various public places in Netherland, Spain, Chile, Korea, Australia, Portugal and Italy.
I published poetry, short stories and translations on the literary review “Hollands Maandblad“ Poetry was published by Cadans as ‘Carthago in het Middaglicht’.

I currently live and work near Milan (Italy).” Margrieta Jeltema

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Antonella Cimatti

Antonella Cimatti's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works

“I believe that the greatest undertaking of the artist is that of professional maintenance. As a matter of fact, along with spontaneous creativity, you indissolubly must add an elevated professional competence regarding technique; through reading and observation, the joy of experimentation, of combining, and of moving forward.

My design is born from a rereading of past artistic production through a filter of formal personal sensibility directed towards the making of a functional or sculptural object. The forms generated are aesthetically accurate and display a strong sense of the real feminine character, of grace, of elegance and of attention to detail.
Thus, “Crespines”, objects originally of Faentinian tradition that were used in the grand European courts of the 16th and 17th centuries, have been remade in porcelain paper clay for a new collection which began in 2005.
It was challenging and exciting to create forms derivative of the past, but reconsidered with completely new techniques and philosophies.

These pieces have been formed using an incredibly thin decorative weft that ultimately creates their supporting structure: it’s an art of addition, not of subtraction, as was commonly done in the original renaissance crespines, where the perforations were created by piercing and cutting out shapes from the existing closed forms. The procedure anticipates the moulding with a freehand syringe on concave or convex refractory supports and requires a high temperature firing. Sometimes the forms are then mounted on hand-blown glass bases, which have been designed and commissioned in Tuscany. The round shape is prevalent in my work, which can often be found in Italian Renaissance architecture.

They present themselves in this way, like ample goblets in ceramic filigree, a type of interwoven lace of overlapping spirals in precious porcelain “thread”, an effect absolutely unobtainable without the help of paperclay. Objects of light and vulnerability, which live in illumination and shadow, in tactility, in supreme whiteness and imperceptible vibrations.” Antonella Cimatti

Antonella Cimatti  was born in Faenza in 1956. One of Carlo Zauli’s pupils at the Istituto d’Arte (State School of Ceramics) in Faenza, she went on to obtain a degree with distinction from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Fine Arts Academy) in Bologna. She has been teaching Design at the Istituto d’Arte (State School of Ceramics) in Faenza since 1979.

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Interview with Margrieta Jeltema - Ceramic Technique, May 2011

Interview with Italian ceramic artist Margrieta Jeltema - Ceramic Technique, May 2011

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter if you want to receive news and interviews with ceramic artists.

Ceramics Now Magazine
: What was the starting point in your investigation with paperclay?

Margrieta Jeltema: Some years ago, when I had finished some jewelry pieces using porcelain together with paper, a  friend suggested to translate the paper part in porcelain as well. I tried and failed but my mistakes turned out rather nice in their own way. They encouraged me to explore this path…
Now observing earlier pieces it seems the idea of folding was already there.

I think any research in art is not just a technical one. Yes I wanted my porcelain to resemble paper but most of all I wanted it to have a life of its own.
My porcelain objects have grown to be flowers, they are wishes or a song. They belong to a different world, follow different rules, not those accepted by the pragmatic world of utility, they truly belong to the “world of beauty and imagination*”.

The technical skills with paper-thin ceramics have their origin in beliefs about the nature of art. Objects made by human beings belong to the realm of art when seen as aesthetically pleasing.
Seeing something as a work of art or looking at it are not the same. Looking has a beginning and end. Seeing however is an achievement – it has no beginning, no stretch of time, it is the realization that we are confronted with something different. The work of art is not confined in a cave of individuality. It participates in an essential way in our everyday communication. From the act of seeing emerges our ability to understand a message.
The beautiful object has an intention; the intention of sharing, of telling a story and exploring our world of imagination.

Message, story, communication, these are the words which describe my previous occupation with writing, using paper, making books with etchings.
I was held captured by these sheets of paper on which I could try to communicate with others.
My Loveletters and my Ode to Monet go back to my obsession with paper carrying stories to those prepared to look, to understand and hopefully, to enjoy them.

Folded loveletter - View her works

Ceramics Now Magazine:  Do you find working with porcelain hard, especially if you try to make it look like paper?

Margrieta Jeltema: Working with porcelain is really easy if you get a bit used to its terrible shrinking, its proneness to distortion, it’s tendency to collapse and its ability to ‘remember’!…
But there are also many advantages over other clays. It is easy to join dried pieces together or repair a piece before baking, it is easy to glaze using a brush (saving on amounts of glaze) as most unevenness will disappear in the high temperatures and of course usually colors look nice and bright on the white body.
What I find really difficult is the handling of the folded Loveletters when they are only bisque fired and still extremely fragile. Because I want to glaze them only on the backside I have to turn them someway. Eventually I solved this using a piece of light foam polystyrene with which I can turn the letter like a omelet on a lid (some cooking experience helps a lot in ceramics).

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