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Painted Ceramic Sculptures Double as Eccentric Vases and Cups

Porcelain Sculptures

Artist Irina Zaytceva works with clay to craft elegant vessels—but with a distinct twist. Going beyond conventional cups and vases, she adds wings, thick vines, and coral structures that seemingly sprout from the side of the porcelain sculptures. They offer a whole new meaning to Zaytceva’s surface decorations, which are soft, dreamy portraits of people and nymph-like creatures. With the additions, these characters are suddenly taking flight or diving under the sea. Together, they tell one fantastical story—a skill that Zaytceva has honed thanks to her MFA in book illustration.

Zaytceva has a painterly approach to her glazing techniques. She achieves an incredible range of tone and color in her work, and the figures seem to glow with an inner light. To do this, she uses a series of underglaze (applying the design before it’s glazed) and overglaze (painting on top of an already glazed surface). This helps to give her work depth both visually and conceptually, and proves that you don’t need the pages of a book to tell a compelling tale.

Artist Irina Zaytceva adds 3D elements like butterfly wings and coral to the sides of her painted clay sculpture.

Art SculpturesPorcelain SculpturesArt SculpturesPorcelain SculpturePorcelain SculpturesClay SculptureClay SculptureArt SculpturesArt SculpturesClay SculpturePorcelain SculptureIrina Zaytceva: Facebook | Artsy

All images via Irina Zaytceva.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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