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Report from the London Design Festival: Sculptural Objects from an Up-and-Coming Ceramic Artist

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Report from the London Design Festival: Sculptural Objects from an Up-and-Coming Ceramic Artist

September 22, 2018

On the last weekend of the London Design Festival, UK-based stylist and blogger Twig Hutchinson stops by the East London studio of up-and-coming ceramicist Naomi Bikis. Take a look (and catch Bikis Ceramics at the British Craft Pavilion, curated by Hole & Corner, through tomorrow, September 23).

I love September. It’s got that back-to-school vibe, where everyone’s gearing up for a new term with lots of exciting things ahead. The London Design Festival is one of those things, and it’s in full swing this weekend with events all over the city, where you can see the very best of design and architecture and the new collections and latest releases from all the established names in the industry.

It’s also a great place to spot emerging talent, such as the work of ceramicist Naomi Bikis, who is exhibiting for the first time this year at the British Craft Pavilion. Her work blurs the boundaries between sculptural objects and functional vessels. I met up with her at her East London studio to find out more.

Ceramics photographs by Stephanie McLeod; portraits and studio images by Sarah Maingot.

 naomi&#8\2\17;s east london studio. the majority of naomi’s work is thr 9
Above: Naomi’s East London studio. The majority of Naomi’s work is thrown on the wheel. “I love the rhythm and strangely hypnotic process of throwing, but found myself drawn to work that wasn’t regular or allowed for more sculptural fluid pieces to be created,” she says.
naomi&#8\2\17;s sculptural vessels. 10
Above: Naomi’s sculptural vessels.
&#8\2\20;not wanting to give up throwing, i found a way to combine hand bui 11
Above: “Not wanting to give up throwing, I found a way to combine hand building practices too,” she adds. Each piece is lightly dried, trimmed, and cut into and altered.
matte black stoneware pieces are thrown and then altered by hand to create unus 12
Above: Matte black stoneware pieces are thrown and then altered by hand to create unusual forms. Pieces are designed to be displayed singly or to sit in groupings.
above: a lot of the work sits on hand built plinths that both display the objec 13
Above: A lot of the work sits on hand-built plinths that both display the object and become part of it. Says Naomi: “I wanted it to create pieces that felt precious, encouraging people to use them about their home like you’d display a piece of sculpture.”
naomi in her east london studio. 14
Above: Naomi in her East London studio.
a soft, serene color palette is created by layering slip (a colored clay) to he 15
Above: A soft, serene color palette is created by layering slip (a colored clay) to help show the pale stoneware clay it was made from.

“The idea was to create pieces that felt timeless, like stone or clay that could be dug up years later,” Naomi says. “I’m really drawn to seeing the imperfection of the clay and the maker’s hand.”

N.B.: A version of this story also appears on Hutchinson’s blog, Minford Journal.

More from Twig Hutchinson:

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