MILAN — When we last checked in on Ole Jensen, we were praising his aptly-titled Basic Bar project for Mindcraft during Milan design week. You should go back and view that piece again, because there’s crosstalk with the Jensen work we’re showcasing today: his Primal Pottery Project. This design was also done for Mindcraft and it too utilizes the simple, but striking red clay used in Basic Bar.
Mindcraft explains how the new works relate to the theme of their show, “In My Mind Craft” (Milan, April 12-17):
In Ole Jensen’s creative interpretation, the theme of this year’s exhibition – In My Mind Craft – simultaneously engages mind and intellect, body, material and object. In his hands, the theme has found an expression in shared human symbols, signs and references with inspiration from early pottery. The resulting objects are made in red clay, and on his potter’s wheel, new and surprising expressions have been allowed to take form in the moment. In original cultures, utilitarian objects are often perceived and depicted as a body or a head, complete with ears, feet or legs. As animated beings. In this series, Ole Jensen has returned to these early roots of ceramics, rediscovering and giving life to a set of primal forms that almost seem to draw breath – ready to reach out and find their place in our surroundings.
Although clay is Ole Jensen’s (b. 1958) primary material, he also works in a variety of other materials, depending on the task at hand, including rubber, wood and brass. His working process is generally analogue and hands-on with a clear focus on the function and usage context of the product. Most of his designs draw their inspiration from everyday objects and functions that call for a simpler, better, more self-explanatory or more aesthetically pleasing solution. Sometimes, the source of inspiration might be a particular word, an assignment from a client, a theme or the properties and behaviour of the material itself. Over time, his designs have covered a wide range of expressions and materials, but a consistent feature is his emphasis on transforming everyday phenomena to be able to present them in a radically new light.
Text (edited) and photographs courtesy of Mindcraft and Jensen.
What do you think of these works in contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.