Artists working with ceramics have continuously and steadily contributed to the art world for centuries. From prehistoric pottery to the Arts and Crafts movement in England and the U.S., ceramic traditions have long fascinated artists and infiltrated their practices.
In 2014, ceramics reached a peak in popularity, and now, as an art form in its own right, buyers of paintings are now investing in ceramics.
The Arts and Crafts movement revived traditional handicrafts and elevated the design of ordinary objects.
Moving from traditional ceramic products, we are now seeing a surge in artistic licence and artists indulging in new ways to use clay.
But when does craftwork turn to artwork? Is it when the artist is trying to express themselves? When an object no longer has a clear purpose?
Jewellery making, glass work, pottery; just because it is usable or wearable, does that make it less of an artform?
Whether we are using ceramics for a purpose or display, the artwork of a piece is not detracted. There can be no greater beauty in something that can be used practically and take your breath away with its artistry at the same time.
20th century artists including Dame Lucie Rie, Hans Coper and Bernard Leach have enabled the world of ceramic art to soar to new heights. Their work provides a contrast between everyday items and the poetry and beauty as an artform.
These artists have rightfully provided ceramics its worthy position on the art stage.
With the support of these artists, ceramics has found itself firmly in the spotlight as art. We can revel in the fact that the beauty of ceramics is recognised as not only an artform, but an artform with a purpose; tableware has never been more beautiful.