Ceramic, Photo, Textile
Made to order
6 - 10 weeks
20 x 20 x 81cm
30cm x 45cm | 75cm x 100cm
Within the world of ceramics, plaster molds are used to make duplicative objects; the molds are vessels which facilitate mass-production and mass-consumption. My artistic practice turns a critical eye toward this type of rote production, and asks how we can instead turn the molds normally used to make repetitive identical pieces into vehicles for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. Break the Mold is a series of lamps, vases, and photographs which deconstruct and reimagine traditions of craft to produce objects that are novel and beautiful in their imperfection. I hope this work will inspire people to embrace and celebrate their idiosyncrasies, rather than conform their lives to predetermined forms.
For Break the Mold, I engaged old plaster molds—produced between the 1970s and 1990s—that I found in the basement of my cousin’s ceramics factory. The slip-casting process used for this group of works is common in commercial mass-production, and traditionally yields materials that are sanded and glazed to perfection, every piece precisely mirroring the others. For my series, I disrupted this process by removing the forms prematurely from the plaster molds, before their clay walls were fully hardened, and manually shaped their fragile forms into something unexpected. In this flimsy state, they were poked and prodded out of sameness, forced to stand—if a little clumsily (nobody is perfect)—on their own feet. Each of my works is only truly activated when it comes into contact with light or flowers, or is mirrored through photography.
Part of the proceeds of each purchase for Break the Mold will be given to The Fondamenta.
With globalized outsourcing of production, the Italian town of Nove di Bassano has deteriorated and begun to lose the material knowledge that has made it a center for clay harvesting and ceramics production for centuries. The Fondamenta proposes to reinvest in Nove’s legacy, stimulating job opportunities, constructing systems of support for local potters, preserving knowledge of ceramic production, and creating opportunities for the international artist community to engage with and learn from Italian artisans.
For the packaging, the lamp will arrive in recycled cardboard box. The artwork is wrapped in canvas and biodegradable fabric and tied using biodegradable hemp rope. When required, the box contains biodegradable foam packaging which is 100% compostable and non-toxic. It uses corn starch and offers exceptional cushioning properties while also protecting the planet. You can run it under tap water in your kitchen to dissolve the material.