Without Losing Balance – Ceramic Sculpture by Kaat Pauwels
There seems to be something innate in us that craves a sense of order. This strange universe we live in has a way of constantly reminding us that we are not in control, that the unexpected can happen at any time. Making sense of it gives us that small satisfaction that things are “ok”, until once again we are forced back in to the unknown.
Even though composure is comforting, does it really mimic the world around us? Ultimately we all sprout from nature and have more affinity with it than we may realise. Sand dunes, ripples in the water, speckles in the snow, all have an unpredictability. Just because we have tamed our own natural environment to meet our sliding scale of disorder to order ratio, deep at our core is a craving for us to flow and shift with these natural elements.
Belgian artist Kaat Pauwels uses ceramics as a stepping stone to explore some of these themes. First she starts with drawings and loose sketches to inspire her process of pushing an object to its limit, but without imposing on its overall balance.
Pauwels bowls and vases are all made using the coiling method, layering them up in a explorative and expressive way. Although technically functional in form, they are sculptural and artistic with thick glazes that crackle and almost appear like the earth’s surface when it’s thirsting for water.
The material itself has all the qualities of nature condensed in to one material. Although it can be easily manipulated, the reality is the process is an unpredictable one. Just like the creative process for that matter. We don’t know where it will take us, and either should we. It’s part of our journey, transferring these stories and art from person to person, just like Kaat Pauwel is doing here with her wonderful ceramic art.