This is another post in our summer series about student artists and designers. Please see today’s other post in that series here.
LONDON, UK — Alissa Volchkova, a Franco-Russian designer currently based out of London, recently wrapped up her MA in Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art. She also holds an MA in interior and spatial design from the Chelsea College of Art and a BA in Interior Architecture and Product Design from Ecole Camondo.
Above image: Alissa Volchkova, The Beautiful Unperfect, 2016. Photographs by Sylvain Deleu, courtesy of the artist.
She states that her work “explores the industrial processes of production in a poetic way, revealing their uniqueness and developing the potential of different materials, with a particular attraction for ceramics and glass.”
That mission is more than evident in The Beautiful Unperfect, a project that uses the familiar form of a Wedgwood vase to make an almost existential comment about entropy in the design process. She describes her methods on her web site and you can see a step-by-step demonstration of them here.
By revisiting an antique Wedgwood object, my aim was to create a bridge between the past and the future, symbolising the human and environmental mutations through the process of making – imitating the life cycle. By carving progressively the plaster mould of the original vase, I transform the vase until it disappears behind its new skin. The mould – usually used for many years and never changing – is here progressively disintegrating, whereas the shape coming out of it is expanding. The industrial, predictable and repetitive process of moulding – normally used to make an infinite number of identical objects, is here paradoxically creating irregular and unique objects.
Other than the swelling, maybe even cancerous forms, I like these vases for how elegantly they describe the cycle of growth and decay. They are inversely proportional to one another, occurring simultaneously. The growth carries within it the alien feeling one gets when encountering new territory, arrested within a caution that slowly gives way to familiarity. The fact that we can watch this play out across something as familiar and harmless as a Wedgwood vase is an inspired touch.
Bill Rodgers is the Managing Editor of cfile.daily.
Do you love or loathe these works of contemporary ceramic art? Let us know in the comments.