Reconstructed Ceramic

Debra Broz

比起從零開始創作,有時候運用現成物加以重塑,成品倒不一定會比前者失色。當中像是以金箔修復瓷器的「金繼」為之一種,另外也有人同樣是以破爛為素材,卻不是以恢復原樣為目的,反而帶來出乎意料的轉化,讓人不住地驚訝於創作者的腦洞面積。這次要說的,就是這一位來自美國洛杉磯的瓷器藝術家Debra Broz。

出生於密蘇里州,現居洛杉磯的Debra Broz,2003年自瑪麗維爾大學藝術系畢業後,很快就跑到德州學習瓷器的修復技術,其後把這門學問,用作她日後創作時的最主要技術。只是當其他人研習修復學問時,真的是為了修復瓷器的目的,她卻是不正不經地,走進二手商店買走一大堆無人問津的瓷器小雕像,進行各種拆解和重置,終於變化出有十隻腿的臘腸狗、尾巴變海馬的獨角神獸、脖子被拉長的連體天鵝,還有雞頭豬身的變種生物。

Reconstructed or restored art pieces are nothing inferior to works that are created from scratch. Kintsugi, a Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics by mending the areas of breakage with gold, is one of the many examples that proves restoration work can be beautiful. Besides Kintsugi, there are many artists out there who’d use their skills and techniques in restoration to recover and rediscover the beauty of the once damaged and broken pieces, and Debra Broz, a ceramic artist based in Los Angeles, US being one of them.

Originally from Missouri, Debra Broz graduated with a BFA from Maryville University in 2003. Shortly after graduation, she moved to Texas to work as a ceramics restorer. While other ceramics restorers focus on the actual restoration, Broz has a special interest in modified ceramics. Using ceramics restoration techniques, she would dissect and recompose the kitsch figurines she finds in the secondhand store and turn them into creatures that are delightfully bizarre. Among the numerous pieces she has created, there are a dachshund with ten legs, a unicorn with a seahorse tail, a conjoined swan with an elongated neck, and a mutant with a chicken head and pig body.

這個名為「Reconstructed Ceramic」系列,是Broz靠著改造並黏合瓷器碎片,並重新上色點綴而成的系列,同樣的的拿手好戲,也可以在「Botanical/Ornithological Grafts & Hybrids」、「Disguises」和「Variants」等多個系列中找到,並已經被American Museum of Ceramic Art、Austin Museum of Art和Houston Center for Contemporary Craft等多個博物館收藏。而雖然作品產量看似很大,但因為素材需要從二手商店獲得,很多系列都要花上數個月到半年,逐一挑選和改造才能夠完成,過程著實不輕鬆。而這種慢工細活的作業方式,還必須包含等待的過程,倒有點符合印象中匠人的精神狀態。

The series of works titled, Reconstructed Ceramic, is made with second hand ceramic objects, sculpting compound, and paint. It shares some similar vibes and techniques as that of the other series also by Broz, including the Botanical/Ornithological Grafts & Hybrids, Disguises, and Variants. The Reconstructed Ceramic is curated by several museums across America, such as the American Museum of Ceramic Art, Austin Museum of Art and Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Although Broz has produced quite a large number of works over the years, the time and effort she spent on her creation should never be made light of. From sourcing of secondhand figurines, to dismantling and reconstructing, some of the pieces took Broz months to complete. The slow and meticulous creation process is indeed a demonstration of highly skilled craftsmanship.