My favorite cup in the Cup Exhibit at the Society of Arts and Crafts was one by Sanam Emami.
Sanam Emami, it turns out, was the curator of the last cup show at SAC. She has a beautiful website and this is where I found out more about her and her ceramics.
She says: “My pots and tiles are made with a specific intent – a function. Plates, cups and tiles are ubiquitous, recognizable. The vases and their multiple spouts are curious when empty, when filled with flowers their function is revealed. The tile is a background or canvas. The cup provides a counterpoint – the curves and movement of the form interact with the surface pattern and imagery. The parameters of the functional pot simultaneously create boundaries and endless possibilities.
Ideas come from different places; a book, a conversation or a glimpse of something familiar like a favorite historical pot that can seem new, as if seen for the first time. The studio space is where the concepts and inspiration take shape and become tangible and dimensional. The concept of unity with variety is important. For example, combining soft marks and volumes with crisp edges and lines. I am interested in creating contrasting gestures that can coexist within a pot or a tile through mark making, symmetry and repeated patterns.”
a mug by Sanam Emami using some of the design elements as seen on the SAC mug.
a pitcher that shares the flower and leaf imagery found on the SAC cup but in an entirely different manner
detail of the SAC cup with partially glazed handle, multiple layers of surface decoration, and free floating foliage.
I was in fact so taken by her work that I emailed her to tell her how much I loved her work. Please visit Sanam’s website here where you can subscribe to her newsletter.
Interested in more cups? click here, here and here for past blogs on this subject.
In my first blog post about the Cup Exhibit at SAC, I wanted to get the word out about the show before it closed. (Click here for a quick reread.) Now for a look at a cup that just “blew my mind”. This porcelain cup by Grace Sheese is titled “Kindergarten Lessons”.
This cup was one of two cups on display by this artist. I was immediately curious and couldn’t wait to pick it up. When I did, I was rewarded with many surprises. It was a well balanced vessel despite the visible purposeful irregularities. Faceting created soft angles for surface decoration. A “bump out” guided my hand to close around the form in a specific way. Flip it over (as every potter does) and hello pig who has just eaten his veggies? or perhaps they are friends: meat and veg… and that is one of the “Kindergarten Lessons”?
Look inside and follow the colorful lines down into the form. It is contemporary in every way. I wanted to learn more about the maker.
Ceramicist Grace Sheese “makes functional objects that are meant to be touched, held and used everyday. She strives to make them in such a way that they are not invisible and that they should be noticed, because they can say something new everyday.”
I found another wonderful cup (below) on her website. Click over to see more of her whimsical work.
She teaches workshops. The one at Snow Farm in Williamstown, MA called “Storytelling with Pottery” at the end of May looks like one I would love to do. I’ll add that to my Wish List!
With two days to spare, I made it to the Society of Arts and Crafts exhibit: “Our Cup Runneth Over: Sculptural and Functional Cups”. It is not to be missed.
For a potter, there is no better exhibit than one that allows you to interact with art. This beautiful cup by Kyla Toomey is visually delicate looking and when you slip your finger through the handle the reasons for the weightlessness become clear. Flip the piece over to study the trimming and you are rewarded with a hidden decal of a flower. The attention to detail in this piece is everywhere.
“Our Cup Runneth Over presents ceramic cups by 36 contemporary artists. By juxtaposing unique approaches to a common utilitarian object, the magic and versatility of clay is highlighted at this biannual sale, as appealing to the seasoned collector as to the student.“
This is the first of a few posts about this exhibit. It is brief so that I could get the word out before the show closes.
Please make time to visit the Society of Arts and Crafts at 175 Newbury Street in Boston, MA. This exhibit closes January 10th.