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Behind The Wheel

A Potter's one that is – For those of us whose home-building imaginations leap into action by leafing through Maco and picking out Balinese furniture, attention to detail is no foreign concept.  This is not to say that the most thoughtfully adorned homes are all showcases for objets d’art, but even a corner becomes a space with the placement of a standing vase, small antique or even the right lighting.

As an artist, it must be admitted that thoughtful design is not entirely difficult to come by in our competitive global market, but that often leaves something to desire.

On late nights I find myself scouring Ebay, looking for that extremely necessary “OLD hand-carved 9’ table, BRAZILIAN IPE’ (no reserve)” and realize that despite the great deal, this piece is somewhat estranged from me.  I can make no claim to have met the artisan, nor have I ever been to Brazil.  It is authentic, surely, but perhaps not to the home it will be sitting in.

In the past few years there has been a strong movement by many fantastic local companies to bring artistic effects to the BVI.  Among them is an enclave of those working locally; making handmade wares for the local and tourist markets alike.

Designing space begins with the basic principle of any artistic practice: choice.  Many Caribbean homes are designed and painted with the firm principles of bold contrasts and soothing complements; the interior should be no different.  A peach splashed wall dances behind stone embankments, driving home the principle of making marks and shaping a landscape to meet your aesthetics.  I often liken interior décor to making a painting, creating layers of expansive space and intimate details.  

Texture and shape are often overlooked principles in the Caribbean, always playing second to color.  No matter how bright and beautiful, coral and cobalt hues can’t stand alone as testaments of great taste.  Those walls need to be moved by natural toned lights and cool linen shades.  Rich terra-cotta floors should be sprinkled with small blue accent tiles and hold up the venus-shaped vase flanking breezy doorways.  There is no way to do this without reveling in the earth’s most elemental materials.

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Beyond the tradition of place, craft has a unique role of melding form and function, much in the same way architecture appeals to our most sensual and human needs.  Whether it is a platter of rich ultramarine admired on both the shelf and the table or the lamp you read by, these objects are placed in our homes to guide our most basic needs.  That being said, it is no secret that aesthetics often reign.

The tactile nature of ceramics speaks directly to the principles of appealing utility.  Ceramics are history’s most common indicator of human ingenuity.  More than any other craft, time has preserved secrets of the way civilizations have evolved in clay pots and jars.  It is their very tactile nature and historical importance that reminds us that there is something very honest about this art form.

Through aesthetics and humanistic grounding, we’ll aspire to something that is both familiar and foreign.

By Lily Stockdale,
Bamboushay Pottery
1 284 494 0393
Bamboushay@surfbvi.com

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