Finely painted bowls. Rugged and misshapen mugs. Decorative vases. All ceramic art, yet all unique.
“Ceramics as a medium is very versatile, you can literally materialize almost any artistic idea using a ceramic discipline,” says Luke Chen of Three Wheel Studio in PVD. Ceramics provides him with an art form that is not only artistically freeing, but also functional for everyday life.
We have all had ceramics in our life at some point- whether through a children’s activity, shopping for home decor or personal interest, if we open our eyes, ceramics surround us throughout everyday life. It is easy to forget that ceramic pieces are art, too.
When asked about the most common reaction non-artists have to ceramic art, Chen says, “That it is not a form of ‘high art.’ In a way, I take comfort in that because I believe art should be approachable. I am very comfortable making functional objects that enhance my collectors’ daily life.” For Chen, ceramics is an art form that bridges functionality and artistry and forges a relationship not only between art and utility but also between the artist and collector.
“I’m an accidental potter,” says Chen. “I only took a couple of independent studies in my formal art school training. I took to ceramics out of necessity. For example, I can sell ceramic work and not my paintings. It is only recently that I became comfortable in my role as a potter.”
“It is a very tactile art form, it is something that brings a sense of comfort in your daily life,” says Chen. With each move of the artist’s hands, they impose their ideas directly onto the piece. In this way, each piece is deeply personal as it reflects each thoughtful move the artist makes, requiring both creative expression and trained skill. For Chen, his art form is useful, expressive and inherently artistic.
Ceramic beginners, experts or even those who are simply intrigued should consider Chen’s advice the next time you consider pottery or ceramics: “Keep an open mind, challenge the conventional doctrine. Don’t be afraid to explore all possibilities in the making of ceramic objects.”
Luke Chen’s studio, Three Wheel Studio, can be found at 436 Wickenden St, PVD.