Adam Buick : Inclusions
At first glance ceramicist Adam Buick’s work doesn’t seem to suggest deep ties to the land of his birth- yet the Welsh landscape is emotionally and literally laced through his thrown jars. With this Inclusion series he entwines the rich history of the Korean Moon-jar with his personal narrative and sense of place.
‘Inclusions’ - a term drawn from geology, referring to a rock or impurity trapped inside a mineral as it forms- perfectly illustrates Adam’s process. Adam throws his vessels with the pebble ‘inclusions’ already present; they emerge from the smooth porcelain as it slowly builds into the spherical moon shape, guided by the artist’s hand on the wheel. Their dramatic rise to the surface represents natural and narrative rich corruptions of this ancient form.
Adam Buick was first inspired by the moon jar during a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London when he was a young student. He was immediately captivated by the creative presence of the Korean dal-hang-a-ri vessels, enhanced for him by the simplicity of their form. He subsequently sought out master moon jar makers in South Korea and spent time with them, learning and refining his making process and techniques. One of his jars has since been acquired by the British Museum and exhibited alongside the historic Moon Jar that first inspired him.
This Inclusion series represents the most fully realised of Adam’s experiments with foraged materials from the Welsh coast he calls home. Speckles of smaller inclusions can be found in his mini moon jars, and his Abereiddi Jars, named after the beach where he gathers most of these organic intruders. This new series of much larger inclusions pushes this process to its limit. There is significant technical skill required to throw porcelain embedded with rocks, the inclusions can also cause the jars (thrown in the traditional two halves) to morph while firing. For Adam, the spectre of his necessarily perilous negotiation with his material is embedded within the structure of his vessel.
Adam’s serene work contains a multitude of contradictions. It represents a dichotomy between landscape and human interference, the control of the unerring craftsman and the quiet drama and potential destruction of the rock inclusions. Adam seeks to create a tense balance - the inclusions are a splintering - frozen in time - set within the pervasive stillness and simplicity of his porcelain forms.
“My Jars explore notions of beauty and perfection. As in the natural world, beauty is often found where there is tension between rugged and soft, pattern and chaos, perfection and imperfection. Between the balance of perfection and imperfection lies beauty. This balance or tension is often what gives a piece presence.”