Emerging Talent: Work In Progress at the RCA, Ceramic & Glass

Earlier this week we were invited to view the work of second year students on the Ceramic & Glass programme at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London.

The programme encourages skilled and creative experimentation into the possibilities of these two materials.   Both first and second year students work alongside each other in a shared environment – a space to develop ideas and engage with fellow designers in the industry.

See below works that caught our eye. – Samantha Fox

Tamsin van Essen – ‘Investigation’

Inspired by excess in the Rococo period, Essen explored how decorative ornamentation could disrupt the form of a ceramic piece.  Exploiting the fragility of clay, decorative elements, such as foliage and curlicues, were applied to the inner structure of the vase before it was fired or glazed.  This resulted in ornamental patterns bursting through the surface and distorting the finished shape and quality of the piece.


Sissel Wathne – Turkopp

Translated in Norwegian to mean a cup that is taken on mountain walks, Wathne’s Turkopp project was an exploration of function and meaning, and the practical and emotional aspects of a drinking vessel. Organic shapes create a natural grip for the hand with a pragmatic function.  The four functions of the cup; syntax, material, practicality and semantics, work simultaneously.


Min Jeong Song – ‘Mechanisms of In-betweeness: through visual experiences of glass’

Min looked at the idea of ‘in-betweeness’ exploring glass as a material and its ornamental styles that are “visually positioned in between cultures and periods.”

Extraordinary patterns – made using various methods such as painting, etching and sketching with felt-tip pens – were encased in three-dimensional glass objects that became abstracted as the viewer moved around the object.


Susan Nemeth – ‘Untitled’

The Sevres vase was a symbol of perfection and decadence in the 19th century and although the vase was painted and finished by hand, the makers mark was always removed.

Using this as a starting point, Nemeth explored the contrasting ideas between the handmade and things considered ‘perfect’.

Taking the basic Sevres shape she presented the vase in various forms and at various stages of conception, capturing human qualities of the clay by purposely emphasizing the makers hand marks and exposing drawn lines and sketches on the body of the object; elements that would usually be eliminated or painted over.


John Rainey – ‘Augmented Portraits’

Inspired by augmented reality and digitalized societies, Rainey explored the idea that images on social networking sites inform and skew our impression of other people’s identities. His ceramic sculptures are based upon the collected visual and virtual information of a single Facebook user, resulting in portraits that challenge traditional artistic methods in a digital age.

The show will run until December 9th – For more information email media@rca.ac.uk.

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