Tina Vlassopulos

London-based ceramicist Tina Vlassopulos is one of the leading hand-builders of sculptural forms. With a BA Honors in ceramics from Bristol Polytechnic, numerous awards to her name, and international exhibitions, Tina makes pieces that are full of latent energy and movement. Their energy emanates from in the twists, curves and spirals that feature in Tina’s work and make it so distinctive. Each piece is made of carefully burnished earthenware which has a strong elemental quality and shifts her work away from our traditional familiarities and perceptions of ceramics.

Ceramicist

Tina Vlassopulos

London

View all Products

THE PROCESS

Inspired by performing arts, Tina instils a sense of movement and precise balance into each piece. Drawing visual ideas from organic, natural shapes, Tina’s pieces are made through a range of hand-building techniques, including coiling, slabbing and pinching. Once each shape has been formed, Tina uses a metal or wooden rib to scrape down each piece and then burnishes them with a metal spoon to achieve a flawlessly smooth and tactile surface, before firing at 940°C. Tina uses burnished stoneware clay to create her pieces and sometimes introduces a flocked element to the design.

Q&A

1. What motivates you to make?

There are things, shapes and ideas constantly floating around in my head, which are crying out to be made. Pottering around in the studio, experimenting with new shapes and contemplating the next thing to make is totally engrossing and all-consuming. The studio is my happy place. It’s a place where I can get totally lost, where time is meaningless as it stretches, expands and shrinks. It is where I can make mistakes without being judged and where I sometimes make progress which only I notice. I am very grateful to have this space.

2. What and/or who are you most inspired or influenced by?

My primary concern is the exploration of new forms and ideas. I take a lot of inspiration from the performing arts, especially ballet, contemporary dance and opera. Attending a live performance seems to unlock my creativity and allows me time to freely roam around in my imagination.

3. What is your unique approach to your craft, and how have you honed your skills?

Everything I make is hand built, then scraped down, burnished and fired to 960º C. Burnishing compresses the surface of the clay making my pieces strong while also giving them a beautiful, tactile surface. I try to instil a sense of movement and poise in each piece while also creating visual harmony. Some vessels are made with an eye to the possibility of function, and this is counterbalanced by a sculptural context. They function as conceptual containers of aesthetic and symbolic values.

I am very conscious of the impact making ceramics has on the environment so I’m fussy about which pieces finally get fired and I also fire to the lowest temperature for the effect I’m looking for. For me, the process is a means to an end, which is why I have pared it down to the bare minimum and can concentrate on achieving the form I have in mind rather than worrying about technique. Burnishing is a long and laborious process requiring concentration, which gives me time to reflect and progress my ideas.

4. What is your defining or proudest moment as a maker so far?

During my 44 years as a studio potter, I’m very fortunate to have enjoyed many wonderful opportunities. My work has been acquired by several museums, e.g. The Magnelli Museum in Vallauris, Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art in Japan and Keramikmuseum Princessehof, Netherlands, and has been exhibited widely both in the UK and abroad.

In 2019 I was invited to exhibit an installation entitled ‘Conversations with Friends’ at Collect Open at the Saatchi Gallery in London. It consisted of 14 ceramic, abstract portraits of my friends placed on a long table with the portraits facing each other and one placed at each head of the table in a facsimile of a dinner party. It was made in defiance of the cacophony of the digital age and as a celebration of friendship and the spirit of the individual.

5. What is your dream project?

2027 marks the 50th anniversary of my studio practice and I would love to celebrate with an exhibition showing the diversity of ideas that have developed, and the way in which my work has progressed.

ALL PRODUCTS

View as Grid List

11 Products found

  1. Turquoise Fin Vessel
    Turquoise Fin Vessel
    Out of stock
    Tina Vlassopulos
    £1,000
    Out of stock
  2. Grey Blue Toot Vessel
    Grey Blue Toot Vessel
    Tina Vlassopulos
    £900
  3. Ring Vessel
    Ring Vessel
    Out of stock
    Tina Vlassopulos
    £900
    Out of stock
  4. Unwrapping Vessel
    Unwrapping Vessel
    Tina Vlassopulos
    £900
  5. Turquoise Ring Vessel
    Turquoise Ring Vessel
    Out of stock
    Tina Vlassopulos
    £500
    Out of stock
  6. Pale Grey Loop Vessel
    Pale Grey Loop Vessel
    Out of stock
    Tina Vlassopulos
    £850
    Out of stock
  7. Portrait of Claudia
    Portrait of Claudia
    Tina Vlassopulos
    £3,500
  8. Portrait of Harjit
    Portrait of Harjit
    Tina Vlassopulos
    £2,000
  9. Portrait of Lesley
    Portrait of Lesley
    Tina Vlassopulos
    £4,000
  10. Portrait of M
    Portrait of M
    Tina Vlassopulos
    £4,000
  11. Portrait of Poppy
    Portrait of Poppy
    Tina Vlassopulos
    £3,000
View as Grid List

11 Products found