State of clay: we’re making a sharp turn with our pick of the shapeliest new ceramics

Various ceramics displayed on a table.
‘Hi-Res Twist’ vessel, £240, by Matt Davis. Small bowl, €22, from the S.Pot series, by Maddalena Selvini. Polychrome ceramic vessel with lustre technique, €12,000 as part of a four-piece set, from the Iridescences series, by Dimitri Bähler and Maurizio Tittarelli Rubboli, for Doppia Firma, a project by the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship, Cologni Foundation and Living Corriere della Sera. Bell jar, £1,100; conical vase, £650, both part of the Paste, Blue Tone series, by Christopher Riggio. ‘Oxbow Vessel I’, $1,000, by Ben Medansky. ‘Lo-Res’ vessel, £499, by Matt Davis. Glass cup, €22; plate, €28 as part of set with coffee cup and spoon, both from the S.Pot series, by Maddalena Selvini. Polychrome ceramic tray with lustre technique, €12,000 as part of a four-piece set, part of the Iridescences series, by Dimitri Bähler and Maurizio Tittarelli Rubboli, as before. ‘Brogue’ dining table in Nero Marquina, throughout, £10,860, by Bethan Gray, for Lapicida. ‘Weathered Metals’ handpainted wallpaper, £196 per m, by Maya Romanoff, from Altfield. Photography: Anders Gramer. Interiors: Benjamin Kempton
(Image credit: Anders Gramer)

Matt Davis

A graduate from the University of Brighton, Davis creates his ‘hyperreal vessels’ by combining traditional porcelain craft with a futuristic aesthetic. His goal is to push the boundaries of what’s possible with ceramics, using software to generate his designs, which are then 3D-printed, moulded and slip-cast in bone china.

Maddalena Selvini

For her S.Pot project, Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Selvini experimented with north Italian soapstone. She designed a traditional stove-style cooking pot, which was cut by local experts, then used the residue from the lathing process to create a new stoneware and glaze, producing delicate vessels.

Dimitri Bähler

Bähler’s Iridescences project explores a technique used in central Italy since the 15th century. Working with craftsman Maurizio Tittarellli Rubboli, the Swiss designer used a blend of metallic salts and clay to produce special chromatic effects, their luminescence brought to life by a variety of shapes and ribbed surfaces.

Christopher Riggio

One of the more recent graduates among our pick of ceramicists to watch, with an MA from London’s RCA, Riggio also made our Graduate Directory. His Paste series nods to 1920s Cartier designs as well as the art of Lucio Fontana, and is intended to ‘evoke a sense of nostalgia through new material sophistication’.

Ben Medansky

A self-described ‘orchestrator of controlled chaos’ and ‘refiner of industrial aesthetics’, Medansky is a ceramicist whose sculptural work features intersecting shapes, sudden flashes of colour and unexpected volumes. Influences range from industrial design and brutalism to the architecture of Los Angeles, where he founded his studio in 2012.

Various ceramics in grey and orange displayed on a table.

Rectangular form, £2,300, from the Post-Surface series, by Irina Razumovskaya. Forms, from £120 each, part of The Mind is a Muscle series, by Yao Wang. Vessel, £1,100, from the Barkskin series, by Irina Razumovskaya. ’Weathered Metals’ wallpaper, as above.

(Image credit: TBC)

Irina Razumovskaya 

Leningrad-born Razumovskaya studied in St Petersburg, Jerusalem and London. She is most inspired by the past, and ‘the ageing of architecture, where rigid things are softened with the touch of time’. This is apparent in her 2017 Post-Surface series, which explores the slow decay of the constructivist structures of Soviet Russia.

Yao Wang

A graduate of London’s RCA, Wang has produced a series of abstract shapes symbolising the tension and balance of dance. Titled The Mind is a Muscle, the Chinese artist’s collection features decorative objects that were either planned carefully or made intuitively and responsively on the wheel.

Two cups, a bowl and a Carafe displayed on the table. Colour - tan.

Cup, €28; plate, €42; bowl, €46, all from the Care for Milk series, by Ekaterina Semenova. Carafe, €300, from the Mate Craft series, by Agustina Bottoni. Cup, €400, from the Morning Spikes series, by Maddalena Selvini. Small cup, €24, from the Care for Milk series, by Ekaterina Semenova. ‘Venier Wall’ wallcovering in Legno, £199 per 10m roll, by Rubelli.

(Image credit: TBC)

Ekaterina Semenova

With her Care for Milk project, Semenova explored the potential of using dairy waste in glazing techniques. The Dutch Design Academy graduate’s collection features simple vessels in earthy tones, achieved with different types of milk (raw, high fat or low fat). Once baked, its sugars caramelise, taking on a variety of shades of brown.

Agustina Bottoni

An Argentinian based in Milan, Bottoni set up her studio in 2015. Her tableware collection references South America’s mate, a bitter infusion usually drunk from a leather-clad gourd container. The ceramic pieces, which include a vase and a teapot, are encased in a leather sleeve that will develop a unique patina over time. 

Maddalena Selvini

As well as her S.Pot collection, Selvini has produced Morning Spikes, a series of organic-looking coffee cups. Playing on ideas of warmth and tactility, they are covered in multiple barbs, designed to hold layers of wool (not shown) in place. As the wool-clad cups are washed, they gain an increasingly felted feel.

As originally featured in the January issue of Wallpaper* (W*226)

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.