THE MANY FACES OF CERAMICS
Matias Karsikas (born 1989) is a sculptor and designer from Nivala, Finland. He has studied at Aalto University, School of Arts and Architecture, Ceramic and Glass Department. He lives and works in Helsinki.
The exhibition features Karsikas’ free standing and wall mounted sculptures. In his art hot-sculpted glass, glazed ceramics meet pieces of wood formed by nature. Some of the works’ yarn like structure has been transformed into a three-dimensional surface punctuated by the small ceramic elements.
The surface assembled from ceramic elements leaves space for glazes, turning the sculptures into painting-like studies of colour. In the kiln, at more than a thousand degrees centigrades, the glaze melts and becomes liquid. The effects created by firing process are an essential feature of the pieces. The flows that mix with each other and the crystals that form in the kiln take you to a world of delicious details that refer to the colour palette of nature’s flora, fauna and minerals.
Karsikas typically creates floral ornamental surfaces on his works. In addition to sculpting, he has previously created the floral surfaces with transfer images and gold paint. In recent works, the ornaments have been detached from the sculptures and placed in their own clusters on the wall. Floral themes are ancient and have traditionally been associated with ceramic traditions. Shiny glazed flowers bring to mind the decorative motifs of tiled stoves or decorative ceramic plates. The traditions of ceramics are important to Karsikas. They act as an anchor in the works and the works respect the material.
Karsikas feels that ceramics is a truly versatile and magical material. It has many faces. It is not at all one-dimensional. Studying and researching it is a never-ending journey, in a positive way.
As a professional artist Karsikas is driven and motivated by the excitement of the unknown. In a world where it feels like most things can be named and categorised, making art gives a unique opportunity to get to the brink of something new. Opening a ceramic kiln is always a mysterious event, and the insights gained in glassblowing make you believe in magic again, for a moment. Sometimes working can feel like an imaginative play as an alchemist, when gritty earthy materials are refined into gold, emerald lustre and immaterial bubbling glass.
Photo: Mikko Patrikainen