Birmingham, U.K.-based artist Zoë Hillyard revitalizes shattered vases and bowls by melding traditional craft techniques. She wraps a mishmash of vintage silks and fabrics around individual ceramic shards, binding the broken pieces with tightly stitched thread. Appearing glazed with antique florals and other ornate motifs, the patchwork forms contrast the original shape of the pottery with the newly mended exterior, a reconfigured finish that’s commonly disrupted by missing pieces and jagged edges.
Gathering the source materials from ceramicists’ reject piles or by receiving broken family heirlooms for commissions, Hillyard works with the initial shape and purpose in mind. She says:
Like archaeological treasures, they display imperfections in the form of holes and irregularity, and all the more interesting for them. Each piece is unique in terms of the combinations of materials used, the pattern of breakage, the impact of colour and print and aesthetic decisions made during reconstruction.
Hillyard’s body of work is replete with metaphorical and physical tension and contrast between the old and new. Although the pieces appear delicate and light like the fabrics that envelop their sides, they retain the heftiness and weight of clay and are warmer to the touch than a porcelain vessel, for example. “Most surprisingly, they often have a subtle flex, disconcerting when contrasted with traditional ‘solid’ forms of ceramic repair,” the artist shares. “I enjoy these ambiguities, with the work challenging expectations and conventional definitions.”
In addition to her practice, Hillyard teaches textile design at Birmingham City University. She currently has pieces at Contemporary Applied Arts in London and will show new works in June 2022 at The Pool House Gallery in Gloucestershire. Until then, explore more of her process and mended projects on Instagram. (via Women’s Art)
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What happens when a pair of curious (and hungry) rats find themselves in a kitchen of potions, tonics, and jars of strange preservatives? “Experiment” is a short film by Zoé Berton-Bojko and Susana Covo Perez—they produced the piece as part of their graduation project at the School of New Images—that follows two dueling rodents as they spar over a single dried mushroom. Once they each finally take a bite of the magical fungi, glass-shattering, fiery chaos ensues in a manner that’s as graceful as it is humorously bizarre.
Watch the full animation above, and find more student projects on the Avignon-based school’s Vimeo.
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A column of metallic type scales the former Zenger Transformer Substation in Prague, melding the historic venue with the visual identity of the new art institution housed in its space. Conceived by the Czech Republic-based Studio Najbrt, the uniquely positioned logo wraps vertically around the corner of the Kunsthalle Praha building and is based on a typeface by German designer Jan Tschichold, who created it in the 1930s around the time the station was built. Construction involved modeling the hinged letters in paper and modifying the forms to account for the central bend, a lengthy process you can see more of Studio Najbrt’s Instagram.
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At the Forefront of Sustainable Fashion, Peterson Stoop Reconstructs Tattered Sneakers into New Patchwork Designs
Coinciding with the rise of repurposed fabrics and visible mending, the Amsterdam-based design studio Peterson Stoop is combating waste in one vector of the fashion industry. The company, which was founded by Jelske Peterson and Jarah Stoop in 2013, salvages worn shoes otherwise destined for landfills—it’s estimated that a single pair of trainers can take 1,000 years to break down—and repurposes them into mules, high-tops, and loafers. Combined with cork, leather, and other natural materials for support, the new shoes highlight the original logos and tattered fabrics through a patchwork of thick seams.
Stoop tells Colossal that the studio sources sneakers from sorting centers, secondhand shops, and retailers with overstock, although it gravitates toward brands like Nike, Adidas, and Converse because of their cultural relevance. “We deconstruct the shoes and rebuild them piece by piece. By re-designing them with traditional techniques, we create an interesting tension between two different worlds,” she says. “At the same time, we are creating a product that is repairable time and again.”
Now offering more than a dozen genderless styles, Peterson Stoop plans to expand its product line with a focus on the materials at hand. Gathering 20 pairs of blue Nike Blazers, for example, inspired a unique collection that maintains the integrity of the initial design with a new, repairable sole. “To see the same shoes worn differently with scuffs, marks, and different tints faded by the sun we documented it for ourselves. By framing so-called identical shoes in one shot, you realize how different, unique, and beautiful they all actually are,” Stoop says.
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Meticulous Sculptures by Artist Carol Long Highlight the Curved Lines and Colorful Embellishments Found in Nature
Honoring the humble shape of the vessel is at the center of Carol Long’s practice. From her studio in rural Kansas, the artist throws simple ceramic cylinders that she contorts into supple butterfly wings, curved chrysalises, or vases with embellished handles.“When it comes off the potter’s wheel, that’s just the beginning,” she tells Colossal. “I usually sit for a second and look at the piece and see which way I can push it out or in.”
The resulting forms are evocative of both flora and fauna and traditional pottery, although Long’s sculptures emphasize smooth, sinuous walls and squiggly bases rather than angled edges. She uses slip trailing to add tactile decorative elements to the piece like small spheres, handles, or raised linework. “The relationship between the glazes that are inside the vectors, the shapes made by the slip trailing, are really important in how they’re divided and how they sit next to each other,” she says, noting that the process is particularly meticulous because it involves applying the material to each intricate, ribbed pattern and delicate outline.
Whether a vase or wide-mouthed jar, the whimsical sculptures are brimming with color and textured details. “I love the flowing lines, and I love the idea of framing a picture on my pots. A lot of times I have a focal point like an animal or insect and then I’ve framed it with other designs,” the artist says.
Long is hosting an annual open house at her studio next month and will show a body of work at Charlie Cummings Gallery in July of 2022. Until then, shop available pieces on Etsy—she also has an update slated for mid-December—and follow her latest pieces on Instagram. (via Women’s Art)
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The cheeky, uncanny works that comprise Yoon Ji Seon’s ongoing Rag Face series bring the knotted, twisting, and generally convoluted entanglements of a subject’s psyche to the forefront. Her photographic portraits are printed on roughly cut pieces of canvases and then overlaid with rows of tight stitches and loose strings that drip from an eye or loop across a face. Adding color and depth, the threads “can be seen or felt like internal conflicts, external stimuli, umbilical cord, blood vessels, sagging skin, hair, or time as a point of each viewer,” the artist says.
Zany and outlandish in expression, the portraits are a playful mix of confusion and jest that Yoon derives from traditional Korean comedies, called madangnori. Those performances consider “the suffering and reality of the people through humor and satire while arousing the excitement of onlookers,” she says, explaining further:
I think what I’m doing these days is to make (an) ‘image’ of these comedies. What I want to pursue through my work is ‘humor’ in the end, but this humor does not bloom in happiness. During intense, painful, and chaotic lives, humor can be like a comma, to relax and recharge.
Because the sewn works are unique on either side, they produce mirrored images that are a distorted version of their counterpart, bolstering the strange, surreal affect of each piece.
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