A Sculptural Approach – Vase Compositions by Federica Bubani

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The art of ceramics has been around for millennia and has influenced the development of humankind’s history. While serving a functional purpose, ceramic making has always been attached to art and, since ancient times, different cultures have produced beautiful and unique ceramic pieces. Inspired by this rich tradition, nowadays, some designers, like Italian contemporary artist and designer Federica Bubani, are rediscovering and reinventing the delicate and laborious world of ceramics and are creating sculptural-looking clay pieces ranging from flower bases and clocks to lamps and aromatherapy diffusers.

Federica Bubani (b. 1981) was born in Faenza, an Italian town famous for its long-lasting tradition of artisanal ceramics. For more than five centuries clay vessels formed an economic backbone for the region and, still to this date, the city houses internationally renowned artisanal ceramic workshops and puts together a ceramic yearly festival. Growing up in this region, Bubani was naturally familiarized with ceramics and went on to study at the Institute of Art for Ceramics. After having obtained more experience and, due to her success in sales, in 2003, she established her workshop at Faenza.

While embedded within the tradition of her birth city, Federica’s minimal and monochromatic ceramic pieces bear a sculptural nature. Almost all of them have delicate textures obtained by the presence of overlapping straight or curved lines placed across the laboriously constructed surfaces of her original designs. At the same time, her pieces frequently involve a contrast of different geometric curved and angular geometric forms which are tinted in variations of pastel hues. The final result is harmonious and sober designs, many of which are reminiscent of Japanese styles and firing methods, such as the Raku technique.

Next to her ceramic pieces, Federica has also experimented with other materials, like rope and wood, and has incorporated them into her clay-based clocks, boxes, and lamps. In 2012 her original approach to ceramic making granted her the Open Design Italia prize for a lamp that alternated a textural and minimal beige clay structure with wooden arms. Simplicity, essentiality, functionality, craftsmanship and elegance are all words that come to mind when looking at the works of this talented designer.

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