Ceramic Sculpture and Wall Works by Michael Cleff


In previous posts I’ve talked about architects and how they often spread their wings and work on a wide range of creative subjects. I guess it’s only natural considering a lot of their time is spent contemplating form and space. You also have to consider the different techniques used like model making and drawing, I’ve also heard that a lot of architects paint as well, so sculpture isn’t that far removed from the design process.

This fascination with form and space all starts at the sketching stage, playing around on paper to achieve something unique. In my eyes there’s not many creatives who did this better than Le Corbusier. In fact, these beautiful sculptures by German artist Michael Cleff are very reminiscent of such drawings and creations, and wouldn’t look out of place next to Ronchamp or Chandigarh. These sculptures are vague constructions with a definite play on proportions, I would say the interplay of the unexpected.

Born in 1961, Michael started his career on the potter’s wheel making simple functional vessels. Throughout the years he has slowly gravitated towards sculpture and decided that he didn’t want to be restricted by the throwing process anymore, so he now uses a mixture of plaster moulds and hand building techniques to create his fresh artistic forms. Even though his work spans across other media, such as photography, drawing and painting, he has always remained faithful to ceramics. These angular ‘modules’, as he calls them, are almost mini pieces of architecture, where square, rectangular, round and oval shapes are built upon each other to create harmony.

I think it’s interesting how geometry plays a big part in all of these, the lines for example are not perfectly straight or parallel which creates distortion from all angles. The gentle irregularities are appealing and the lack of precision makes shadows react in unusual ways. I’ll certainly take inspiration from this element as it’s hard to achieve such a result in a simplistic and subtle way. I have picked out a small selection of his sculpture for you to admire, if you’d like to see more I’d recommend browsing his webpage on the link below. Enjoy.










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