The hottest new talent of the week brought to you by PSFK x Arts Thread. This week, a young designer explores creating simple products that are inspired by her Slovakian heritage.
PSFK’s creative of the week, chosen from the ARTS THREAD online portfolios, is Silvia Kamodyova. Silvia graduated this year from the University of Brighton with a MDes in 3D Materials Practice, specilising in ceramics.
Why we like Silvia’s work: as the designer comments, we like Silvia’s work for its ‘simple beauty, common sense and unpretentiousness’ – timeless.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and inspirations.
I’ve lived in Brighton, East Sussex for 12 years with 2 years ‘time out’ in Holland. I come from Slovakia a small village Hodruša-Hámre; lakes, hills, farms, lovely summers and freezing winters. It’s a country of incredible cultural heritage. We have many peculiar customs and most of them are very much alive to this day. I have an interest in folkloristic traditons. My heritage is my inspiration. It started after discovering a book of photographs by Igor Grossmann and writtings by Milan Rufus ‘Images gone with time’ which captures the vanishing Slovak village life. Additionally, I have scrutinised thousands of images in the Slovak Archives to select the few that stuck with me. I think I have enough material for the rest of my life.
I’ve recently graduated from University of Brighton completing MDes in 3D Materials Practice specialising in ceramics. Throughout my studies I managed to get my hands on many materials and tried different techniques. I was given an Erasmus Grant and went for three months to work for a family pottery in Southern Italy Centola where I advanced in throwing on potters wheel thanks to a patient teacher Maria Smith.
Talk us through the pieces on your ARTS THREAD portfolio.
My collection ‘Inspired by Harvest’ is influenced by ethnographical study of peasant artifacts, agrarian vessels used for gathering and storing. I like old relics that transport you to a different time and place. These objects were made most of the time by the user for his/hers own use. That’s why they function. Simple beauty, common sense and unpretentiousness. I want my work to communicate this.
My range varies from large pieces that I make by press moulding into case mould or single drop out moulds, to smaller thrown pieces. You can see how I work and think in my book here. I do sketch but most of my work happens intuitively, the pattern follows the form and it all comes down to what aesthetically works for me. If it doesn’t work it ends up in a recycling clay bin. I find the slow process of drawing repetitive marks into slip to reveal the layer underneath very satisfying. I prefer patterns to be sealed under the glaze. These rudimentary marks are inspired by patterns left behind in the landscape, harvested fields on the hillsides. The selected palette derives from colours predominantly seen on peasant ceramic vessels. Significant part of my pieces is the leather handle which I stitch by hand with yarn. Some of the pieces have got green oak hand carved handles.
What are you currently working on?
I am designing and making lights and tiles for a private client. I also do some prototype work for BrickettDavda My partner Nick and I are working on a collection of objects that incorporate his passion for wood and mine for clay. We are aiming to launch by next summer. I have exhibited with Mint during the London Design Festival and currently am working on some new pieces for two exhibitions; Oriel Davies Gallery in Wales and Bevere Gallery in
Worcester. I am working on a more functional collection, testing some glazes to go with it and testing some new colour schemes. Once it’s ready to go I’d love to have it styled and professionally photographed for a new website and take it to some shops. I am trying to avoid selling online for as long as I can. I want my work to be in shops because I like going to shops and seeing objects in the flesh.
How can people contact you & what work are you looking for?
The best way to get in touch with me is through my website and that will take you to my pinterest, twitter and soon facebook. It’s all there.
In my dream world I see myself going three ways: 1.Exhibiting my pieces at galleries, 2.Making functional homewares, 3.Working with interior designers. I am very hands-on and up for a challenge.