⟨ Craft ⟩

Vessels shaped by the contours of hands

Tea strainer by Olivia Fiddes

Words / Jas Tse
Translation / Iris Heung
Photography / Johanna Tagada

蘇格蘭陶藝家Olivia Fiddes的作品,是我心中所認為純粹的模樣。色彩淡雅,多呈米白和黑,細看卻透露著不盡均勻的陶泥色彩,以及摸起來不完全平滑的觸感。

她在倫敦的工作室裡一人作小量生產,只與藝術家、設計師和品牌合作,每個系列都是一次性便結束製作的作品。猜想這大概是令自己保持著能在每一次都嘗試新的東西、而不作重複的好玩形式吧。譬如她與Faye Toogood合作的系列裡,有著比例巨大的圓胖手柄、外表笨鈍的馬克杯;或是底部黏合了一顆甜甜圈模樣的陶泥的錐形碗。另外與AP Shop合作的,則是用粗陶土製作,外面塗上一層透明釉,能看見陶土原來的深咖啡色調,充滿著野生的味道。

Olivia對很多藝術類型也感興趣,但最鍾愛陶藝。「我總覺得泥土是比較寬容的。捏陶時,如果某一下弄不好或弄成了不是自己喜歡的模樣,還可以挽回。」她更只以手捏方式作陶,過程中不使用陶輪與模具,是一門從頭到尾用雙手與陶泥來建立的習作。這種方法運用了「雙手的輪廓、指尖、與手的肌肉去塑造出陶器的形態。」當中會存在的一點點差異與小瑕疵,屬於其作者的痕跡,我喜歡用指尖來回觸摸這些不平坦。

Olivia大多時候會使用回收的陶泥,從與她合租工作室的陶藝家朋友處收集,以「剩土」製成的陶器質地反而有一種獨特氣質。上面這個可愛的陶製茶隔,就是專門為法國畫家兼跨界藝術家Johanna Tagada的線上商店BON SU所製作。使用了回收陶土,外圍裹上奶油白色釉彩,邊邊角角還透著陶土的原貌,溫柔又有點毛糙。

The hand-built ceramics by Scottish potter Olivia Fiddes have shown to me how ceramics in their purest form would look like. They are mostly colored in milky white or black in a humbly elegant way, but with a closer look, you would see and feel the unevenly applied clay that gives a rugged texture.

Working from her London studio, Olivia produces each piece by hand at a small scale and exclusively collaborates with artists, designers and brands. Each of her collection is limited and never relaunched. Perhaps that is her way to keep on trying new ideas and never repeat herself. In the series she collaborated with Faye Toogood, she gave an oversized and somehow clumsy handle to a simple and modest mug, and a thick coil of clay to adorn the funnel-shaped clay bowl. In another series, Olivia worked together with AP Shop to create pottery using coarse black stoneware clay and transparent glaze, which allows the original rustic color of the clay to be visible and exudes a primitive vibe.

Olivia is interested in multidisciplinary art but is most devoted to pottery. “I was interested in all art mediums but I always found clay more forgiving… often you can take a step back with clay if you make a mistake or don’t like something.” As elaborated by Olivia, she “mainly uses the contours of [her] hands, fingertips and hand muscles to shape the pieces” without using any wheel or mold, so it is completely a “hand-built” production. Precisely for this reason, every piece is different and bears small flaws, which become unique marks left by the creator and give an amazing uneven surface to the ceramic works.

Reclaimed clay collected from the other ceramicists she shares the studio with is the material most often used in Olivia’s creation. Such “reused” clay adds a special quality to her pottery. This cute-looking tea strainer above was specially created for the online shop Bonjour Supermarket curated and run by the French painter and interdisciplinary artist Johanna Tagada. The potter once again worked with reclaimed clay and used a crème de céraline glaze which feels soft to the eye, but with the clay exposed on the edges, the strainer is at the same time given a raw touch.