Are they vertebrae? Coral? Insect pods?
This week I introduce you to the ceramic artwork of Peter Lane, who shares a studio with the subject of last week’s post, Pamela Sunday.
Lane will soon exhibit ‘Seabed III’ and IV – a much larger version and a smaller, half-scale version – at the Pavillon des Arts et du Design in Paris in April. He will be represented there through Chahan Gallery, whose sleek modernist furniture presents the perfect counterfoil to Lane’s rough-hewn aesthetic.
You can read about how Lane came up with the idea for the piece, and how he made it, on my blog, The Brooklynist.
Lane exhibited a number of pieces at Chahan Gallery in Paris last September. He is known for his “birch bark” lamps, vases and drum tables using a ceramic process that happened to turn out looking like, well, you guessed it, birch bark.
The lamp base on the table above is part of his ‘Scholar’s Rock’ series, amorphous masses of clay that he stacks up and squeezes into shape. They are named after Chinese scholar’s rocks that are chosen because of their uncanny resemblance to things like tigers or clouds.
“I’m experimenting and trying new things. I donâ€™t have a specific style,” says Lane. “My favorite things are most spontaneous and come directly from the clay itself.”
The circular sculpted mirror frame hanging above the table is a spin-off of a larger project that Lane is currently working on, called ‘Homage a’ Palissy.’
“Bernard Palissy was an important artist and folkloric character,” Lane told me. “He was a stained-glass artist originally who basically had to invent ceramics from scratch. He burned all the furniture in his house trying to fire up his kiln to the right temperature!”
Apparently, Palissy’s masterpiece was a grotto that he made for Catherine de Medici. “The walls were encrusted with sculptures of seaweed, salamanders and shells to resemble an ancient Roman ruin underground.”