Ceramicist Sabri Ben-Achour believes that “humans are primed to find beauty in the orderly disorder of nature.” This primal understanding has informed his entire practice, culminating in a growing collection of striking organic bowls. Crafted using controlled processes and intended to resemble natural formations, these vessels speak to Ben-Achour’s interest in blurring the line between art and science.
Ben-Achour’s preference for clay is no coincidence. “Clay is, after all, simply an arrangement of the three most common elements in the earths’ crust—silicon, aluminum, and oxygen,” he tells My Modern Met. With this in mind, he has developed two different processes that harness the natural potential of clay.
The first technique he’s explored allows him to create growths of coral-like crystals using an electroforming process. “I use charged electrodes, one attached to a ceramic base and the other attached to a piece of scrap metal, both submerged in one of several types of chemical bath I developed,” he explains. “The current rips metal atoms from the scrap metal and re-deposits them on the ceramic work, forming crystal formations reminiscent of coral.” He’s even found a way to manipulate the durability of the crystals and choose where they emerge.
A second process he’s developed covers his bowls in cracks reminiscent of dried earth. “I developed a clay that rapidly cracks on its own before your eyes like a dry lakebed miniaturized in time and space,” he tells us. As a result of diligent research, he is able to adorn these bowls with the entangled veins and intertwining patterns one would find in nature.
While it may seem like Ben-Achour has mastered marrying art with science, he plans to continue innovating. “My next projects will begin to combine all of the above into more complex arrangements,” he reveals. “And I am always searching for other phenomena, other properties, other forces to explore and embody in my work. I’m not sure why, but I’m driven to explore them, driven to find them. Brought out into the open, they allow us to look into the nature of being that is hidden around and inside us.”
You can see more of his stunning ceramic creations on his Instagram.
Sabri Ben-Achour of Sabritree Ceramics pairs his artistic skills with scientific knowledge to craft exquisite bowls inspired by nature.
Many of these bowls are made using electroforming processes that cover the ceramics in coral-like crystals.