Ceramics: Relieves the Tension between Art and Design

Having done wheel throwing and ceramics for 4 years, the tension between art and design has been part of my artistic struggle for the longest time. When you create a piece, say a bowl-like form, you have to ask yourself: what will be the function of this? And I didn’t always ask myself that. It wasn’t until I reached a certain point of developing my skills that my instructor started encouraging me to give my pieces a purpose as well. Ceramics are a unique space to accomplish that kind of work because it’s a craft that lends itself so easily to purpose and function. So that even though it can be a fine art, it also has elements of design that are impossible to ignore. So maybe they don’t have to be in two different worlds in other parts of art. Perhaps fine art in all areas can also seek to serve a purpose sometimes, and not other times and have that be okay.


This piece is fully functional in additional to being beautiful. It has an ergonomic handle that works very well with the way human hands work and it also looks gorgeous. The green glaze and it’s gloss draws awe from as as we’re natually attracted to glossy objects. This ceramic piece encompasses the kind of technique that crosses art and design/ form and function/ fine art and craft.


This piece is beautiful and catches the eye – but has absolutely no purpose but for display. Some would view it as more refined art, and while there is a place for sculpture and non-functional art, it definitely is not as prized among regular people as functional pottery. Simultaneously, hi culture values nonfunctional art like this highly and people often pay hundreds to obtain a handmade, nonfunctional piece. So perhaps it’s just a matter of preference and wallet size.


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