These 20 Artists Are Shaping the Future of Ceramics
Reinterpreting forms associated with traditional vases and decorative objects, British ceramist Gareth Mason magically turns his ceramic creations into highly textural bodies. He incorporates materials such as porcelain, oxides, and lustre to the main clay body. The sense of texture and three-dimensionality emanating from his works makes them unique on the contemporary art pottery scene. "It's not about rendering a model perfect in the conditional sense," the artist argues. "It's more about revealing the nature of what's there innately”. The process of creation of a single piece requires multiple firings, the use of different glazes, and sometimes years of production. Mason’s goal as a ceramic sculptor is to push the material to its limits. The final product is always a complex piece, both raw and glistening.
“The best art,” Gareth Mason has said, “irrespective of the discipline, is felt first and reasoned later.” As one of Britain’s most individual ceramists, Mason strives to reveal the mysteries of creation and the humanity of the artist himself. He is known for his ceramic jars, which are constructed through an unconventional and improvisational approach; in a metamorphic process that often spans several years, Mason’s hand-thrown jars undergo multiple firings, glazings, and the addition of various materials (scraps such as gravel from the Victorian slate industry or waste scavenged from the Thames River). The resulting work—avant-garde forms likened to small cosmic explosions—are unrivaled in their richness of color, texture, and density.