The work showcases her mastery of “paper clay”, the result are the masterful result of thirty years of intense research and a thousand hidden hours of practice, thousands of hidden hours of practice, and a degree of serendipitous good fortune in the firing process.
Paronetto still lives and works where she was born near the ancient town of Pordenone near the Venetian Alps. Working from a small, idyllic studio surrounded by rural tranquility, Paola has spent the last decade developing and refining her own version of the “paper clay” technique.
“I was tired of the usual surfaces and I was looking for something really different. Unusual and amazing surfaces able to change the perception of my pieces.”
By adding specific amounts and particular varieties of paper or card to her clay, Paronetto produces a unique formula that allows her to reproduce the textures and surfaces of these two added elements, as well as maintaining an intrinsic lightness to each sculpture. The vessels only arrive at their final form in the firing process, which adds a unique set of creases, folds and angles.
“The major difficulty is that the handling procedures make the clay shrink as a result of the water loss.
Another difficulty is represented by the burning process, especially when high temperatures are needed: although the cellulose component of paper clay makes the material stronger than standard clay, allowing for thinner and more delicate works, it is also a porous material and “ring temperatures can affect the result.
This also means that when I open the oven, I still experience the most beautiful emotions and surprising moments.”
The work takes the forms of everyday objects – bottles, bowls, cacti – and makes them seem weightless, with textures of scrunched paper and corrugated cardboard. The sculptures, fragile, light-as-air, exude a bold, confident presence. Grouped together they resemble skyscrapers or sea creatures. Set alone, their individual folds and ridges are transformed by the changing light, complimenting any interior.
Paola’s work has been readily adopted by the modern art and interiors market, and was recently featured in Elle Decoration and Marie Claire among other titles. Alongside her studio work, she also teaches at the renowned Meridiana School of Ceramics in Tuscany. The artist herself will be visiting London to launch the show.
Text (edited) from the Contemporary Ceramics Centre.
About the Centre: The Contemporary Ceramics Centre is London’s only dedicated ceramics gallery. It was established by the Craft Potters Association, the national body representing ceramic artists and potters in the UK since 1958. The gallery is a benchmark for current practice in studio ceramics.
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