Georgios Maridakis’ final work at the summer show was his Sèvres Vase Clock. “The project started as an initiative between the French Sèvres porcelain factory and the RCA”, explains Maridakis. “My goal was to celebrate the inherent qualities within Sèvres vases, instead of generating yet another porcelain piece. The aim of this project was to create an object that could give life to the unique characteristics possessed by pre-existing artifacts.”
“My interest in ceramics began during my studies in Arnhem, where I designed several pieces with this material. In my view porcelain is a material that requires skill, patience, and some degree of humour. The Sèvres Vase Clock is a new type of timepiece that tells the hour by tapping on the surface of a vase to produce sound. An adjustable hammer mechanism allows a variety of vases to be used, thereby permitting a range of chimes to be generated. This piece was inspired by porcelain’s three main qualities: transparency, whiteness, and its pure ring. The clock reminds the user of the passage of time not only through its chime, but also through the gradual fractures and eventual shatter that it inflicts (on the porcelain).”
Jozephine Duker’s work also looks at the concept of sound, through her Ceramic Sound Landscape. This ‘musical instrument’, a project for Yamaha, is made from ceramic bowls of differing thicknesses and sizes on flexible silicone rubber feet, which can be struck by everyday objects, such as a pen.
Duker explains, “The Ceramic Sound Landscape invites people to play music: a moment of pleasure is created when walking from one place to another in an office building or school, for example. The varied thicknesses and sizes of the bowls create the different tones, which are structured in a grid from low to high. This allows people to explore the surface and to learn to play it.”
Willem van Landeghem studied ceramics at the RCA and it was a work placement at Royal Crown Derby that led van Landeghem to use bone china for most of his graduation projects.
His ceramic washbasins deal with the concept of how we should think of water as a luxurious commodity, yet we don’t give it a second thought as it drains away out of our washbasins. The use of special plugs splashes droplets of water back into the basin, instead of letting it all go straight down the plughole unnoticed. Van Landeghem says, “The aesthetics of splashing water and the drops like pearls makes the user feel the preciousness of water.”
Van Landeghem has also worked on the instability of bone china, creating bowls and lights that have structural textures within them. The lights have delicate ribbed effects and these are strongly highlighted by the translucent qualities of the material when backlit.
Main image and image 1: Georgios Maridakis
Image 2: Jozephine Duker
Image 3: Willem van Landeghem