Although pottery has been around for thousands of years, brilliant artists continue introducing new techniques that completely revolutionize the traditional approach to the art. One of those people is Sean Forest Roberts.
This artist from Orcas Island, Washington, is taking ceramic art to the next level with his colorful and mesmerizing creations. He uses his chemistry background and four years in science labs to create intricately designed porcelain pieces boasting unique forms and patterns.
One of his best-known techniques is carving unique designs into multi-layered ceramics to reveal bursts of color inside. And the result is just amazing!
Roberts is a full-time ceramicist who runs Forest Ceramic Company with his partner Valeri Aleksandrov.
“While I own the business, we are a team in marketing, and we have developed some of the processes together over the last five years,” he told Bored Panda.
Roberts said his love for handmade pottery started when he was in high school. He also studied chemistry at Carleton College. With his incredible creations, you would think he has already taken tons of art classes. But that’s actually not the case.
“I think it’s a fun fact that I have never taken an art class other than ceramics, and my formal education in this unique art was very minimal. My ceramic knowledge is self-taught, and I am most interested in exploring processes that are not common knowledge. I continue to learn every day through my experimentation,” he explained.
Roberts has been doing ceramics for 15 years. For the last seven years, his works included colored porcelain.
Sean Forest Roberts shares his finished works as well as his whole creative process on his Instagram page, which has over 377k followers. Through his videos, the artist is able to show his audience just how satisfying it is to carve into pottery, especially if it has striking multiple color combos just below its surface.
“The process I use is called slipcasting. The first step is to create a prototype form on the wheel, then create a plaster mold of that form. Once the plaster mold has been made, it can be “cast” a couple of times in one day, using slip—liquefied clay—to recreate the original prototype form. After casting there are 10-12 steps to undergo for each piece, and it takes about a week to have the final product out of final glaze firing,” he explained his process.
Like many artists, Roberts takes inspiration from the things and places around him.
“My studio is half a laboratory and half a playground. The majority of my inspiration comes from nature and chemistry. I bring my experimental mindset to the studio, and my work is constantly changing as I explore new techniques and materials. I thrive most when I am trying something new, and learning through the process,” he said.
Check out the gallery below to see more of his mesmerizing artworks.
To see more of Roberts’ brilliant work and ceramic carving in action, follow him on Instagram. If you’d like to own one of these unique ceramics, you may purchase one (or more!) from his online shop.