Unique Raku Pottery and Ceramics by Ildikó Károlyi

Ceramic tableware line: Neolithic roots

The Birth of Ceramics and their decoration in the artistic sense dates back to the Neolithic period. There were different, geographically delineated trends in Europe. For instance: the Danubian Linear pottery or the Cardium Ceramics of the Western Mediterranean. However, there was something that connected their ceramics: the analogy of the human destinies that created them.

Most importantly, I wanted to unearth and extract some of the essential, timeless beauty of those New Stone Age ceramics, then blend it to my current line of work. But my plan was not to make replicas in any sense. That is to say I wanted to create something contemporary, experimental, unseen.. In other words: to capture their harmony and to make something recognizably and authentically mine. At the end, it all took shape in a ceramic tableware line. It is important to mention that this work was partially funded by the National Cultural Fund of Hungary.

Neolithic tableware category in the Shop

Research on the Neolithic

We checked local museums. After that, during 2018-19 I made a series of visits in Southern and Eastern Spain (Granada, Córdoba, Málaga, Murcia and Valencia). There we did some research on Neolithic era ceramics of some 5-7000 years ago. Typical examples were of the La Almagra and the Western Cardium cultures.

Above all, it was the proportions of the ancient, almost tangible objects that made the strongest impression on me. For example, the bends following the shape of our ancestors’ hands, all the possibilities those vessels’ round bottoms offered. Even though Neolithic cultures didn’t use the wheel, their design can be perfectly recreated using my preferred tool.

On the other hand, the primeval shape of these pieces contrasts greatly with traditional pottery (what is considered traditional today). This contrast makes them a natural and perfect fit for modern interior design trends.

My intention was to channel the essential beauty of those ancient pieces through my raw, plain surfaces and simple forms. In addition, I wanted to highlight what clay has to offer. Less is more! The simpler this reinvented beauty is the closer it gets to carrying that remote essence of harmony in today’s world.

“Neolithic” ceramic tableware design

I used an electric kiln, but I wanted to recall the muted, earthy tones of Neolithic ceramics by producing deliberately unpredictable surfaces. We didn’t find proper commercial glazes and clay bodies for my needs so, I mixed custom materials to match these goals. As a result, this ceramic tableware family is suitable for daily use in modern environments.

In brief: the simplistic, plain decorative elements used in this series recall the natural, smoky memories of Neolithic objects. However, the technology used makes them highly functional and durable ceramic pieces suitable for modern homes and restaurants.

9 posts

About Ildikó:

My aim is to create lovable, usable, high-quality ceramic objects that provide a wide range of visual and tactile experiences. My creative process consists of constant, focused, yet in some aspects instinctive experimentation with materials, shapes and surfaces. My goal is to capture beauty. This process is an intuitive search for harmony, a quest for delight. Objects born in my hands are imprints of the inner paths of this explorer-researcher-observer mind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *