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Ceramics & Glass (MA)

Clara Louise Bloch Jensen

In 2019 I graduated from a BA in Ceramic and Glass at The Royal Danish Academy of Design and Art, KADK in Denmark. Directly from here I applied for the MA at RCA.

I felt my journey was just starting and I needed to pursue and refine my artistic performance. With RCA I got the opportunity to study in a new educationally environment, in a different cultural context, expand my horizon.

Coming here differently modulated me in a new direction with more nuances and a larger perspective on my own work and a stronger connection to the international ceramic scene.

Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Ceramics & Glass (MA)

I consider myself an explorer on a scientific field trip searching for the essence, as an archaeologist digging for traces, collecting objects, fragments and analyzing them. I feel a connection between the object and me - part of the same story - touching historical time sensing it flow through the object. The fragments suggest something, a distinct aura of previous life, of voices, of death.

My artistic practice begins right here, communicating, sensing and meeting the material with my hands, body and mind. I am capturing shadows and ghosts on the edge of my consciousness, giving them physical form.

I was born in the deepest winter, north of the polar circle between snow, ice, and darkness, right on the edge of the Arctic sea in Greenland.

Out of this environment I get my creative energy, on the border between the real and the unreal. In this frozen zone there are stories lurking, only waiting to be captured and told.

Organic memory — This fragile little bird became the starting point in my research work. I worked as a taxidermist removing all soft organic matter and finally reconstruct the bird skeleton, with wires and a good deal of patience.
Material hunting — Old weathered bones from North Greenland, Thule district. Seal, whale ross, bird skulls and and one plastic soldier.
Hybrid Installation — A seagull skull, vertebra from a seal and spine from a large bird
Work in process unglazed white stoneware. — I am particularly attracted to the bird skull; it possesses many sculptural qualities with the oval organic shape, the porcelain like surface, thin and fragile. Various holds and cavities which captures the light and create strange shadows.
Ravens — A self-supporting ceramic vessel. Build of raven skulls as a contemporary magic creature of the north. Ravens are known for their wisdom and excellent hunting abilities. White stoneware unglazed 15 x 15 x 48 cm. Black Granit and Quartz from Thule, cut into rectangles by me. 11 x 11 x 15 cm. 6 x 6 x 8 cm.
Organic fractal — Unglazed white stoneware.
Halo green glaze — Glazed white stoneware.
Why not — Unglazed stoneware
Hello - Black bird — Unglazed white stoneware
Bird DNA — White stoneware on a sand stone from north Greenland, Thule.

I am attracted to bones as organic manifestations. A pile of minerals, the salt of the soil, which is recycled after use. I see repetition, life, diversity, and resurrection. We are created as organic structures out of this planets minerals, we stand upright, we fly or swim, with the help of an ingenious construction perfectly balanced for life. 

This balance fascinates me, the everlasting cycle of life which turns into dust and resurfaces.

Medium:

Old bones and white stoneware
Meet the melting ice
Watercolor and arctic glazier ice melting on watercolor paper — By bringing arctic glazier ice in and onto watercolor paper merging together with various watercolor, I worked with the expression the ice leaves behind when it is melting.
Traces of ice — Glazier ice melted watercolor
Traces of ice — The ice is maintained with watercolor at that very moment it melts and disappears.
Siku (Ice in Greenlandic) 42 x 29 cm. — Only the essence of the ice is left.
Thule autumn 2020. 42 x 29 cm. — Drawing elements of the scenery with an ink pen. Small wooden houses and dogs in chains in the snow creating quit meticulous circles.
The arctic sun. 42 x 29 cm. — Glazier ice melted watercolor
Iceberg with Sea kings. 42 x 29 cm. — Glazier ice melted watercolor
Blue ice. 42 x 29 cm. — Glazier ice melted watercolor
Winter dogs. 42 x 29 cm. — Glazier ice melted watercolor and drawings in ink
Winter is coming. 42 x 29 cm. — Glazier ice melted watercolor

During a residency in north Greenlandic in autumn 2020, I studied the Greenlandic Icey waters, the landscape and the enormous geological forces that have created this environment. The glaciers have modulated the mountain, leaving valleys, rivers and moraine landscapes as far as the eye can see. In this barren and inhospitable environment, life has arisen, animals and humans live in fragile coexistence. 

The snow, ice and darkness have been central elements of my inspiration journey.

Medium:

Watercolor
Mudlarking — The river bank is scattered with fragments of London's past.
River memory — I was holding history: A fragment of a clay pipe, not of great political events, but of very small things, from an individual living in ancient times, who had broken his pipe and chucked it into the river. There is a connection here, between him and me.
Fragments — Traces of historical fascination "white gold" of China, porcelain.
Work in process — Working with history
Getting closer — I played with various bits of porcelain and a previous life began to manifest it self.
A baby is born
The odd couple — The fragments were eager to tell about their past lives, where they had a certain position on the table and were valued in their graceful functionality.

The river runs deep beneath me, grim and grey it flows out towards the sea. Washes the city clean with its perpetual pulse of tides 4 times a day. 

On the shore, everything suddenly becomes hush and quiet. The city envelops me but seems distant and indifferent. At first glance, it is any coastline with rounded stones, birds and costal vegetation - though exotic with its location in the heart of Europe’s largest metropolis, London.

Medium:

Old porcelain shards found on the banks of the Thames

Size:

20 x 25 cm.
The perfect form — Porcelain cast in a plaster form
Its alive — Porcelain with insect sprigging
Its alive 2 — Porcelain with insect sprigging
The insects are coming — Colored porcelain with insect sprigging
Traffic jam — Porcelain with insect sprigging

London's hectic life is in many ways similar to the life of an insect nest. They live in largely designed constructions, have complex infrastructure and advanced distribution of power where select elite rules.

I want to get our vanishing biodiversity in speech. The insects biomass has been disappearing at a rapid speed of approx. 40% over the last 20 years, many species are endangered. By inviting the bugs into and onto my work, I force humans to engage and interact with the insects, getting a haptic experience.

We're in the middle of the 6 mass extinction, the 5 was when the dinosaurs disappeared.

A conversation piece at the dinner table. 

Medium:

Slip porcelain and hand build sprigs

Size:

25 x 20 cm.
Iceberg mystery — The Tupilaks natural habitat is the icebergs. They live in the deep tunnels and cavities that the melting water creates in the iceberg.
Melting Tupilak — The ice is melting and with it the Tupilak. This glaze is developed with the melting and changing arctic in mind.

As a child I lived on the west coast of Greenland in a small village, Kangaamiut. 

A village of Polar bear hunters and their families, right on the Arctic coastline. This village is known throughout Greenland for its skilled artists. They cut fabled animals out of the bones from their hunting animals. These small sculptures are called Tupilak and possess a magical energy that brings either luck or disaster.

An old legend from my childhood goes like this: The Tupilaks live in the deep cavities in the icebergs. That is why you engage with the iceberg with outmost respect and caution. They are dangerous.

This small sculpture is telling a story about melting glaziers and the story about a Greenlandic culture in change. 

Medium:

White stoneware with white/blue/green glaze

Size:

23 x 8 cm.
Portfolio 2021 Clara Bloch Jensen