Discovering beauty and creating treasures from discarded items is artist Tim Kowalczyk’s forte, particularly in his line of ceramic mugs and tumblers. For Kowalczyk, a self-proclaimed collector, throwaways can often contain histories in their bends and folds. Likewise, everyday practical objects that are taken for granted can be transformed into art under different circumstances.
Kowalczyk’s new works replicate the visual likeness of cardboard from clay, creating mugs that illusively look like reshaped corrugated boxes with “Fragile” and “Please Handle With Care” stickers plastered over them. Kowalzyk does an amazing job of making his ceramic creations really look like thick, ridged paper that’s dried after being caught in the rain. The color, texture, and gesture of each piece is convincing enough to make you do a double-take.
Though it seems an unconventional medium to work with, the malleability of his chosen material—its ability to duplicate “any form, texture, or surface”—is what attracts Kowalczyk to clay. “Replicating real objects out of ceramic material and putting them in a tableau is my version of writing a poem. I am able to sculpt, form, design and construct sculptures with sense of purpose, priority, and preciousness.” Kowalczyk continues, “Pathetic, absurd, antiquated, banal or even garbage are words that best describe the objects I am drawn to. They hold my attention because of the stories they can tell and what they can mean.”
Along with emulating cardboard, Kowalczyk has also created tumblers that look like used and rusted metal cans:
All images via Tim Kowalcszy.