Sumptuous ceramic vessel from ceramic artist Nicholas Arroyave-Portela. Made in 2021.
Materials. White St. Thomas clay. Stoneware glazes. Multi fired to cone 9 (1260-1280 degrees)
Measures H 40 cm x W 28 cm x D 26 cm
The artist starts out by throwing his creations on the wheel using a technique unique to him where he pulls up as much clay from the bottom as possible so that the clay walls may be thin and even in order to be best manipulated while still soft and malleable. After the first initial bisque firing (1080 degrees) which sometimes might include a layer of Porcelain slip, the glaze is then applied by using methods including spraying and pouring and this process might be repeated various times after each firing of 1280 degrees. The multi-firing process allows for the build up of glaze texture in order to create a palette of rich tones and finishes.
All of Nicholas works are intended as domestic interior sculptures and are not suitable for holding water.
Nicholas Arroyave-Portela has had a ceramic professional practice for the last 25 years. He was based in London for 20 of those years but is now based in Barcelona, Spain. His works are in major private and Museum collections worldwide including The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK, the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK, the Philadelphia Museum of art, USA, and the Mint Museum, USA, to name a few.
Artist statement by Nicholas Arroyave-Portela:
Lao Tzu an ancient Chinese philosopher said, It is written the water that flows into the earthenware vessel takes on its form.
Over 25 years ago when I started out as a young artist working with clay this concept haunted me. I wanted to explore how this idea actually translated for me. I started experimenting with polythene, a material easily transformed in shape and form through the insertion of water inside its walls. This analysis led to a fascination with saturation, volume and fullness and with its opposite qualities of emptiness, dehydrated, cracked and dry.
After a long break of many years I decided to revisit the vessel as a vehicle for self expression. I have become conscious that these qualities have now taken on a symbolic emotional gesture of the human condition. Through the art of throwing I am able to use the metaphor of water as a means of representing time, which not only takes an infinite number of shapes but also comes in cycles.