Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I wanted to share a few photos of some of my new ceramic vessels. I have been making these for a few years now, and while I am often very drawn to create just the simple organic round-shaped vessels that would stand in their own right as 3D sculptural objects, I find myself in the end always returning to these small plate-like vessels with elaborate engraved abstract drawings. I feel the drawing gives them soul; a sense of  story or message, hidden in the clay.

As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts; while painting has always been my primary medium, I have also been fascinated with clay from my earliest childhood. An old potter lived a few houses from my grandmother's, and while visiting her I always insisted to be taken to his shop, to watch him work. Just like drawing and painting; clay seemed to be a magical material - capable of transforming from an amorphous lump to something beautiful.
And a little interesting story connected in a way to my vessels; the place I was born in, Vinkovci in Croatia, was inhabited from Neolitic period, and under the Romans was actually the birthplace of two Roman Emperors. My grandparents used to find old Roman coins in their yard, and pieces of glass and ceramic vessels.  But even more exciting is the history of the so-called Vucedol culture that resided in the area in the period of 2900-2400 BC. It was contemporary with the Sumerian period in Mesopotamia, and the Old Kingdom in Egypt („The Age of Pyramids“). Amazing excavations have been found from Vucedol culture, among them pottery vessels with engraved decorations. The decoration engraved on a pot from the Vučedol layer in Vinkovci, dated prior to 2600 BC. displays the most complete European (Indo-European) calendar based on astral symbolism representing the relevant constellations characteristic for all four seasons. The calendar is synchronous with the Sumerian and Egyptian calendars.

Here is one of  Vucedol vessels:
 I really think these artifacts I was able to see in a museum as a child surely had an influence on my vessels today.
As for the Roman excavations in my birthplace, here is a nice recent article about some new findings of silver artifacts, on the location just a few houses from my grandparents house, where my parents still live.