Claire Loder’s Intriguingly Strange Ceramic Heads

It’s day 2 of Brown Paper Bag’s Ceram­ics Week! Today, let’s take a look at Claire Loder’s intrigu­ing heads…

Claire Loder

I’m simul­ta­ne­ously dis­turbed and enthralled by Claire Loder’s work. The strange and beautifully-crafted ceramic pieces have an air of mys­tery about them. We see their soft facial expres­sions as well large, foreign-looking growths that cover the entirety of their face. Loder speaks about the con­cept behind her heads:

Since august 2005 I have been pre­oc­cu­pied with mak­ing heads and faces, explor­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ties for psy­cho­log­i­cal nar­ra­tives. Con­tem­pla­tion and melan­choly are per­pet­ual under­cur­rents. As I rarely deal with any­thing below the neck I’m inter­ested in the head as a metaphor for the com­plete body.

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Bolden” by Jen Collins Has New Ceramic Beauties in the Shop!



Per­son­ally, I’m not good at form­ing things out of clay, but I like look­ing at what other peo­ple can do! This entire week on Brown Paper Bag is ded­i­cated to ceram­ics in their var­i­ous forms: sur­face design, sculpted fig­ures, and more. So, let’s get started with Bolden by Jen Collins.


I’ve long admired Jen Collin’s illus­tra­tions, so when she started mak­ing ceram­ics I was really excited. There’s some­thing incred­i­ble about how draw­ings trans­late into 3D objects, and her line, Bolden, is no excep­tion. I can imag­ine these things as 2D ren­der­ings; Jen’s sig­na­ture lines and brush strokes make their way onto the hand-formed pieces.

You can buy these delight­ful pieces in the Bolden shop. Jen tweeted that this update is the last for the fore­see­able future, so don’t waste any time!

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Friday Round Up: 12 Wonderful Angular Things

Today it’s angles all over the place. Light­ing fix­tures, desk cad­dies, illus­tra­tions, and more. This type of design is really ver­sa­tile and looks good in many dif­fer­ent appli­ca­tions. No won­der it remains so pop­u­lar; Mary Blair (below) was work­ing with geo­met­ric shapes back in the mid-20th century.

As always, happy Fri­day! And, to my US read­ers — have a great long weekend!

PS: Sep­tem­ber 1 — 5 is CERAMICS week on Brown Paper Bag. All that week I’ll fea­ture my favorite beau­ti­ful break­ables.


Sketch Desk Tidy

Check out Kristin’s new cloth­ing and acces­sories line, too!

The Visually Dizzying Works of Husmann/Tschaeni

Husmann/Tschaenihusmanntschaeni12 I don’t know how best to describe these works (are they paint­ings? par­tially pho­tographs?) by Husmann/Tschaeni, so I’ll just let them speak for them­selves. The in-your-face color, tex­ture, and pat­terns are a dizzy­ing com­bi­na­tion that I find cap­ti­vat­ing. They draw me in and I can’t look away. See more images on Husmann/Tschaeni’s web­site, which includes equally as intense series of pho­tographs. Husmann/Tschaeni husmanntschaeni9 husmanntschaeni8 husmanntschaeni7 husmanntschaeni6 husmanntschaeni5 husmanntschaeni4 husmanntschaeni3 husmanntschaeni2 husmanntschaeni1

Elsa Mora’s Incredible Cut Paper “Garden of Books”

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Ya’ll, I am so impressed with this cut paper sculp­ture by artist Elsa Mora; the details within it are incred­i­ble! Using just acid-free paper and glue, she cre­ates depth and tex­ture through well-placed cuts and minus­cule, hand-punched holes. Close-up shots reveal won­der­ful things like the tini­est dec­o­rated books on a shelf. Get lost in this piece titled Gar­den of Books.

You might be famil­iar with Mora via her excel­lent blog, Art is a Way. If you don’t read it, I highly rec­om­mend that you start. It’s one of my go-to blogs, and it fea­tures ceram­ics, artists, crafts, and more.

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Applique Pooch Portraits by Olga Ezova-Denisova

Olga Ezova-Denisova

With a vari­ety of fab­rics, Olga Ezova-Denisova cre­ates por­traits of ani­mals using an applique tech­nique. They’re fun: dogs are dressed for both cold weather and a day at the beach, and we see them don­ning scarves, caps, rosy cheeks, and more.

I love the mix­ing of mate­ri­als and how they’re han­dled in a painterly way. Small shapes of fab­ric cre­ate high­lights and show the direc­tion of fur. They also define its con­tours and form. Addi­tional embroi­dery stitches refine details that give these pieces even more depth.

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And these pieces are a com­bi­na­tion of linocut and embroidery:

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Kris Chau’s Lyrical Lines and Ethereal Sketches

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I was first intro­duced to Kris Chau’s work when I was in under­grad. She was a guest pro­fes­sor for a “lifestyle” illus­tra­tion class I was tak­ing, and I fell in love with her way of draw­ing. Chau uses beau­ti­ful lines through­out each piece that have a lyri­cal feel to them.  And when she’s not doing that, she pep­pers her work with lovely patterns.

If you check out Chau’s blog, she does a lot of sketch­ing. I’ve included some of them here, and they are han­dled more loosely than her paint­ings. She cou­ples this treat­ment with ethe­real depic­tions of god­desses, mer­maids, and spir­its.  It cre­ates an appro­pri­ately dream­like world.

Insta­gram alert: she has one. Fol­low her! (And how about me, while you’re at it?)

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Friday Round Up: 10 Huggable Soft Sculptures

Okay, so maybe the title is a bit mis­lead­ing. I don’t know if you’d nec­es­sar­ily hug these soft sculp­tures, but most of them on this list look pretty cuddly.

I’ve always been one to col­lect stuffed crea­tures. In my bed­room is a col­lec­tion of Ugly Dolls from col­lege and an assort­ment of Heidi Kenney’s plushes.  I think I’ll always have a place in my heart for these soft objects even if I don’t own them.

Is there an online shop or a par­tic­u­lar soft sculp­ture you love? Let me know if in the com­ments, or via Twit­ter or Face­book!

And a BONUS, because I just love candy so much:

TONIGHT: Monica Ramos’ Ceramic Alpaca Planters for Sale


Inter­net, get ready. Tonight, August 21, at 7PM ET, Mon­ica Ramos’ (pre­vi­ously) online shop, Rit­u­als, will release some more of her delight­ful ceramic alpacas. If you missed ‘em last time around (like I did), now’s your chance! Set an alarm on your phone and be near a com­puter so you too can own an adorable planter of this stately animal.

PS — I found out about this via Ramos’ Insta­gram!

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Happy, Colorful Paper Collages by Hye Jin Chung

hye jin chung Hye Jin Chung cre­ates col­lage illus­tra­tions (my favorite!), mix­ing and match­ing papers to build excit­ing images. After arrang­ing cut-out shapes, she’ll draw on top of them for even more delight­ful details. Just check out those smi­ley, happy horses above.

It looks like Chung’s has been busy since I saw her work at SPX last year.  Oprah mag­a­zine and Planad­viser are a cou­ple of her past clients, and I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing more from her.
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