Sinkhole Vessels by Liliana Ovalle
at Grandmateria III

| 2 comments
 

London Design Festival 2013: Mexican designer Liliana Ovalle is presenting a series of clay vessels based on the geological phenomenon of sinkholes as part of a group show at Gallery Libby Sellers in London.

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Ovalle based the irregular shapes of the vessels on the idea of sinkholes forming below ground, creating voids that the ground suddenly disappears into.

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"The black vessels stand as a representation of the geological phenomena of sinkholes, a portrayal of those voids that emerge abruptly from the ground, dissolving their surroundings into an irretrievable space," said Ovalle.

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Individually made oak frames that represent a cross section of the ground support the vessels, whose open ends interrupt the flat surfaces on top of the frames.

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To produce the clay pieces, Ovalle worked with Colectivo 1050º, a group of artists, designers and makers in Oaxaca, Mexico, that supports artisanal skills currently facing the threat of extinction.

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"By making reference to different process of extinction, the Sinkhole project aims to reflect and extend the permanence of what seems to be inevitably falling into a void," explained Ovalle.

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The vases are shaped by hand using tools such as corn cobs and pieces of leather and the blackened finish is achieved by exposing the fired clay to an open flame.

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The project is being exhibited as part of a group show called Grandmateria III at Gallery Libby Sellers during the London Design Festival, and will continue to be shown until 5 October 2013.

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Ovalle previously designed a sofa based on the ad-hoc furniture that is prevalent in Mexico City, comprising a wooden bench with a metal frame to which beanbags and blankets can be knotted.

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Having graduated from London's Royal College of Art in 2006, Ovalle joined the Okay Studio design collective in 2011, and continues to operate from their space close to the Dezeen offices in Stoke Newington – see more projects by Okay Studio designers.

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Photography is by Kytzhia Barrera and Liliana Ovalle.

Here are some more details and captioned images from the designer:


Sinkhole Vessels

Design: Liliana Ovalle
Production: Colectivo 1050º

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Foam models were documented and sent to the ceramists in Tlapazola, Oaxaca.

The Sinkhole project is the result of a collaboration between Liliana Ovalle and Colectivo 1050º.

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The black vessels stand as a representation of the geological phenomena of sinkholes, a portrayal of those voids that emerge abruptly from the ground, dissolving their surroundings into an irretrievable space.

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Bi-dimensional drawings were translated with the aid of measured wooden sticks.

Each vessel is suspended in a wooden frame, alluding to a cross section of the ground that reveals the hidden topographies.

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Alberta and Dorotea mold the the vessels using the ¨cone" tecnique. The clay is molded on plates balanced on rocks and then spun by hand.

The clay shapes, based in local archetypes for utilitarian pottery, are crafted by ceramists from Tlapazola, Oaxaca using ancestral techniques and skills that are struggling to find a place in the contemporary global landscape.

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Once the pieces were dried and fired for a first time, a second "open" fire was made to blacken out the vessels.

By making reference to different process of extinction, the Sinkhole project aims to reflect and extend the permanence of what seems to be inevitably falling into a void.

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The tones and gradients of each vessel were controlled by exposing them directly to the flame or the burning ashes. The "blackening" process lasts approximately one hour.

Sinkhole Vessels will be showcased at the exhibition Grandmateria III, at Gallery Libby Sellers, during the London Design Festival.

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Final fitting of the ceramic pieces into the oak frames.
  • mimi

    Beautiful!

  • beatrice

    These are really great. Sculpturally and material wise too. So many ‘meet the natives’ crafts-based projects end up being kind of lame, but this one still feels edgy and raw. Really nice stuff.