By pushing the limits of existing 3D printing technologies, van Herpt has arrived at machines that produce larger forms and work with materials beyond conventional plastics. Out of paraffin and even clay, he has printed collections of objects that soften the precise and indifferent definition of industrial design. Vases seemingly handwoven by the hands of individual artisans, ceramics crafted with random imperfections, and pottery shaped by the environment they were made in—these manufactured objects demonstrate how van Herpt reinserts humanity into the man-made machine.
My work in clay has been a succession/evolution of ideas over a thirty year period. I take certain elements that “work” in one series and often build the next series based on those elements. That could include the color of the clay body, the colors of the surface treatment, the texture of the surface, the form or the building technique. I enjoy working with the idea in mind of smaller parts making up the whole. Tiles covering a wall. Vessels made with coil and brick-like pieces, or cut and torn clay parts that make a vessel look basket-like. The vessel form appeals to me on a level that I don’t understand. It is a sort of mystery. When I am out in the world and see such a form I am immediately drawn to it. As much as I am concerned with surface texture it is ultimately the simple form of a vessel that appeals to my eye. I would like to think my work, and the act of making the work, connects me with past cultures who used the same materials to make vessels for ceremony or everyday use. I like the idea of being a part of the long history of people making things with their hands.
Akiyama's major concerns revolve around the physical properties of clay as a material and his exploration, through the manipulation of his medium, of the tension between surface and form, between the ordered and the organic. This direct relationship with his materials and commitment to experimentation and reinvention has made Akiyama one of Japan's most important contemporary artists. Currently he serves as the chairman of the ceramics department at Kyoto City University of Arts.
Gitte Jungersen’s work is pure alchemy which springs from her unrelenting curiosity and the search for a balance between control and chaos which she says is a metaphor for life itself. Jungersen keeps searching for the essence of ceramics and question the dogmas related to it. It is not sculpture. It is not painting. And it is not necessarily related to earth and the natural. Freed from their traditional ‘container’ the objects displayed at PULS are the dripping and colorful results of a search for what is possible when you reach the end of control and let gravity and firing take over. Each single object in her latest series offers a comment in the discourse on what it fundamentally means to make ceramic art.
Gregersen works in two distinct ways: one is by making waves—both figuratively and actually. The other is a carefully delineated and measured construction technique. For waves, bamboo strips and other organic fibers achieve the complex curves and movement she seeks. Then wet stoneware is molded around these shapes. When the fibers burn away during firing, they leave behind a wave-like memory, a solid fragment of something fluid and ephemeral. Her mastery of materials is clearly demonstrated by her ability to repeatedly glaze and fire a work until it speaks with the voice she requires. Multiple firing is always a high-risk activity for an artist with anything less than extraordinary skills and understanding of her materials. Under her hands and eyes, conflicts and questions inherent in moist clay resolve themselves into forms that embody a profoundly sensual balance and unity.