Something about these ceramics that make me think of friendships, of links, of connections, of mixing the smooth with the rough times. When I was thinking how to describe this body of work, I was struck by their connection and its very interesting that the artist Lotta has invited her best friends to view them first – a circle of friendship, trust and support. I think these pieces work as a pair or a group .. but equally they work as a sole piece that maybe you give to a friend … these small delicate deceptively simple utilitarian shapes symbolise friendship, especially female friendship… a vessel to carry flowers, pencils or just to stand empty in simple beauty, created by hand and fired with love and care.
About Lotta von Bulow
Ceramicist and Interior Designer Lotta von Bulow lives and works between London and Stockholm. With a signature aesthetic of classic, understated design, Lotta works predominantly with porcelain or a porcelain/stoneware clay mix to create collections of vessels. The work is done with a limited colour palette of soft muted tones, which, when coupled with the unglazed exterior, results in pieces that are understated yet captivating. Her porcelain pieces are often hand-polished at the end of her process to soften the surface to near perfection. The mixed clay pieces, in contrast, are given a rougher, textured surface for an unpolished look. It is suggested that the one-of-a-kind pieces are displayed in groups of three or more to obtain the engaging visuals intended by the designer. Inspired by both architectural angles and natural shapes and textures, Lotta's designs are brought to life in sketches before being wheel-thrown, glazed, and high-fired in London or her Stockholm archipelago studio.
Viken takes its name from a natural bay found in the archipelago just outside Stockholm, where Lotta practices her ceramics. Inspired by organic surfaces and water reflections, Viken pieces have a textured surface: grainy and sand-like, achieved by the mixing of porcelain and stoneware clay. Each piece is wheel-thrown and shaped by hand, then bisque-fired, glazed on the inside, and finally high-fired. In either a neutral oatmeal achieved via oxidation in an electric kiln or a soft greyish color, the result of the reduction process in a gas kiln, every Viken vessel is unique, with the texture and tone differing slightly each time. Viken is best displayed as a collection of three or more pieces, balancing symmetry with the contrast of texture, height, and shape.
Ekbacken is a refined, fresh collection made using pure porcelain. It takes its name from the family home in which Lotta has her small summer studio, tucked away in the Swedish archipelago, not far from Stockholm. Porcelain is wheel-thrown before being bisque-fired and later high-fired. The brilliant white of the porcelain is then either left unglazed on the exterior and later hand-polished for a smooth matte surface or glazed in a fresh green, reflecting the wild meadows that surround the house. In contrast, the interior of each piece is glazed with a transparent glaze. Each Ekbacken piece is individual, and as a collection, designed to be displayed in three or more vessels, creating a subtle contrast of color, height, and shape.
VIKEN AND EKBACKEN
An exhibition of ceramics by Lotta von Bulow
Upstairs at Connolly from the 15th November to 19th January
4 Clifford Street, London WIS 2LG