Porcelain—known for its refined delicacy and pure white color—is considered to be one of the most sophisticated types of pottery. It is also one of the most difficult to work with due to the demanding manufacturing process required to produce a finished piece. For acclaimed ceramicist Sophie Cook, the medium allows her to sculpt minimalist porcelain vessels characterized by the simple beauty of their fluid shapes and tones—inspired by the landscape of the Suffolk coast, where she lives.
“My bottles, pods, and teardrops are about color and form,” Cook explains. “An individual piece works well but displayed in groups, they become a three-dimensional still life… Every piece is a challenge to make as porcelain is such a fluid medium on the wheel.”
Though many people can appreciate the talent and hard work that goes into creating ceramic vessels, few realize just how many attempts it can take to produce a satisfactory finished piece—even for a seasoned professional like Cook. “I throw four pieces a day, which are left to dry for two days and are then carved to refine the shape,” Cook says, describing her process. “Once sprayed, they dry for a week. It is an incredibly delicate process. Rarely, if ever, do all four pieces survive the carving and firing processes.”
The ones that make it through stand as a testament to her vision as an artist. Many of the delicate ceramic vessels sport matte finishes once fired, and others reflect the sunlight with their glossy surfaces. Some stand tall, with long thin necks sloping down to a wider base, while others display a lower profile with wide, rounded bellies curving up to meet each tiny opening.
Scroll down to see images of Cook’s incredible work. For more, visit the artist’s website or follow her on Instagram. You can also purchase one of her gorgeous pieces for yourself by visiting her shop.