Worn Ceramics

Worn Ceramics is a collection from the borderline of fashion, in which specially suited ceramic objects are worn and presented in the way that resembles haute couture shows. The action is an effect of searching for new forms of expression and creating a situation in which the way of exposing, the reception of sculpture and its character change radically. I got interested by body transformation which resulted from moving the object literally onto models’ shoulders. This cycle was about finding the relation between body and an object. The aim was to make an abstract item which can be worn and presented this way. Worn Ceramics for a moment interferes with a body’s real nature. Thanks to which it can reveal its character in a new way. The body becomes an idea medium. When I was working on this cycle, I was thinking about sculpture which is not bound with one specific place but which becomes a mobile object that exists in unity with a person who wears it as an exceptional accessory. Each of them is unique, unrepeatable, and dominant in the person’s image. An object like this could work as an element accentuating importance or personality of the people who wear it. Thanks to these ceramic items it is possible to manifest own individuality. Why a precious object around a neck cannot be bigger than usual and more visible? Certainly, the more specific it is, the louder message it communicates. The role of a mutant object, transformed into something not easily defined though close is very important in my show. It is close because of a soft shape and perfect matching the body like a mascot, “a pet” we tend to stroke and cuddle. Worn Ceramics is emotional and sensual experience in which the whole body is engaged. Its form and shape derives from an idea of an object – an amulet with a symbolic meaning. Then I used to call these items jewellery, as I associated them with peculiar necklaces or bangles. The name Worn Ceramics initially served as a working title to single out these new works from the others. It seemed banal, little original to me. After some time however I realised that it defines the items exactly. I refer to the essence of phenomenology in this way. As time went by it occurred that search engines relate this expression with my name – it appears in ten most relevant results.

 

The first object from the collection was made in 1999 during a plein-air ceramic and sculpture workshop in Bolesławiec. It was shaped in such a way it could balance slightly. I also took a series of pictures of this item when it was moving. I would also put it on my hand, searching for a natural position of adhering to the body. The following items were formed to suit as specific place on the body. Initially these were elements worn on a neck, then on shoulders and arms. The forms were balanced in such a way that wearing them, despite their actual weight, was
comfortable, or at least not tiring. At the same time I was working over a shape which would affect senses. There were objects designed to keep in hands, correspond with the idea of ladies’ handbags, items hung on belts, which harmonised with a specific part of the body. The form evolved towards a complete integration with human organism. The main part of the cycle was made within the period of two years. The majority was released in chamotte masses, the rest with addition of porcelain. I applied various techniques while making particular sculptures. The works were printed in negative plaster forms, formed of rollers or flat pieces. The surfaces were diverted by glazes, blurred with metal oxides or covered with angobas. Some selected elements were cold elaborated (polishing, pigment rubbing). I fired them in oxidizing or reducing atmosphere with the use of oil or sawdust. All these procedures were supposed to enrich surfaces and structures.

 


The majority was designed to be worn on neck, but some were thought to be on the shoulders, some on the forearms and yet others were supposed to be held in the hands. Every collection was slightly different. I did not care about the weight of the sculptures, too light object is not comfortable in wearing. Finding an appropriate relation between the body and the sculpture was for me far more important. I started to wonder what the presentation of such items should look like. Where should they be showed. I pictured apparently absurd situation in which the exhibits disappear at night from the pedestals in the exhibition room. As if they showed intelligence, and acted independently, or if someone or something had helped them. Then an idea came to me to “tear the sculpture away” from its exhibition place. I decided to present my ceramic sculptures in a convention of fashion show which was about to start from the static exposition. The topic itself was not a new one for me, as I got in touch with the world of fashion shows during my studies, what has been aforementioned. This time it was not about clothes but sculpture. I found this formula interesting taking the contrast between ceramic matter, usually associated with traditional utilitarian items, and the human body into consideration. I recognised that this combination would make the message stronger, especially at the moment of getting outside the gallery.