Bikis Ceramics

I love September. It’s got that back-to-school vibe, where everyone’s gearing up for a new term with lots of exciting things ahead. London Design Festival is one of those things – in full swing this week with events all over the city. You can see the very best of design and architecture, with the new collections and latest releases from all the established names in the industry.

It’s also a great place to spot emerging talent, such as the work of ceramicist Naomi Bikis, who is exhibiting for the first time this year at the British Craft Pavilion┬ácurated by Hole & Corner. Her work blurs the boundaries between sculptural objects and functional vessels. I met up with her at her East London studio to find out more.

Photos throughout by Stephanie McLeod and Sarah Maingot

Above: Matte black stoneware pieces are thrown and then altered by hand to create unusual forms. Pieces are designed to be displayed singly or to sit in groupings.

The majority of Naomi’s work is thrown on the wheel. “I love the rhythm and strangely hypnotic process of throwing but found myself drawn to work that wasn’t regular or allowed for more sculptural fluid pieces to be created.”

Above: Not wanting to give up throwing, I found a way to combine hand building practices too.” Each piece is lightly dried, trimmed and cut into and altered.

Above: A lot of the work sits on hand-built plinths, that both become part of the object and display it. “I wanted it to create pieces that felt precious, encouraging people to use them about their home like you’d display a piece of sculpture.”

Above: Naomi in her East London Studio

Above: A soft, serene colour palette is created by layering slip (a coloured clay) to help show the pale stoneware clay it was made from. “The idea was to create pieces that felt timeless, like stone or clay that could be dug up years later. I’m really drawn to seeing the imperfection of the clay and the maker’s hand.”

London Design Fair starts today and runs until Sunday evening at the Old Trumary Brewery, E1. You can visit Naomi in The British Craft Pavilion.

A version of this story also appears on Remodelista

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