Disembodied faces and fingers surround the surreal vessels of Canopic Studio, a Los Angeles-based practice led by Claire and Curran Wedner. Known for their ceramics, which show the human anatomy in a repeating pattern, husband and wife have recently deviated from black and white works previously mentioned on Colossal to create a series entirely in Celadon, a jade color with a rich history.
The translucent glaze originally came from China and was known across the country for centuries before it was replaced by blue and white porcelain. It’s traditionally made with some iron oxide – too little makes a blue color, while too much makes a darker olive or black – and then baked in a reducing oven at high temperature.
Curran says he first experimented with the glaze as part of a ceramics class in 2004 and has now come back to it after studying the burning and reduction of Kegel 10 gas or the process of oxygen reduction in the furnace. The resulting pieces change color with the light, a quality that coincides with the studio’s interest in mutable identities and quirks that show up in the shape of their works.
Pieces are made using the same mold to create similar but not identical body parts. When placed in rows on the mug or bowl, the individual face or finger becomes one of many, each defined by their little difference. “I’m interested in identity and how it changes when we go from being alone to being part of a crowd,” says Curran. He explains:
I like to nudge that space in between where identity feels almost pliable or melted, then hardened, then shifted again and so on. When the face I use is drawn from a single shape it has a surreal quality to it – so identical it’s almost scary, and all the tiny flaws and differences appear when they wouldn’t otherwise.
Canopic Studio is currently creating a range of 22-karat gold face lockets. The duo list new pieces every two months Etsy, and you can keep an eye out for store updates and see work in progress Instagram.
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