December 7, 2008

Let's Meet Renowned Baby Body Part Ceramist Susan Kniffin Davidson


Even though it's the best option I've seen for eating out of a head since the monkey Jell-o from Temple of Doom, Susan Kniffin Davidson's upside down baby head bowl with the bubbly red glaze on the inside has already been sold.

But there's so much more to see on the site of perhaps Chicago's most accomplished artist working in the medium of baby part-shaped ceramics.

Davidson sculpts tiles by hand that incorporate baby faces and hands in various contorted expressions. They recall the body part sculptures of such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith, and Robert Gober. Also, Han Solo frozen in carbonite.


And though she suggests hanging them singly on the wall, I could totally imagine working a few of these into a bathroom remodeling project. Not only does it add character and charm, like a dog footprint in the sunbaked Mexican tile, it adds function. Like functional tiles by Droog Design in the 1990's. you could use baby hands as towel hooks. Little mouths would make great fingerholds for drawer pulls. And stick an LED behind a baby face for a creepy nightlight. [The door could be by Elmgreen & Dragset, with an awesome pregnant belly bump.]


Tired of plain, old navy & white nautical themes? You heard battleship grey furniture is hot, but you don't want your kid's room to look like every nursery in France? Let this large, silver-glazed tile turn your run-of-the-mill WWII Navy nursery concept into a top-secret, time travel thriller straight out of The Philadelphia Experiment.


You'd want to make sure Davidson's tiles are the same dimensions as the rest of the tiles you're using, so you'd probably want to talk about a commission. And if you're having that discussion, maybe she'd consider a full set of 8 or 12 baby head bowls as well. Just a thought.

Kniffin Pottery for all your baby body part pottery needs, $34-60[via boingboing]

1 Comment

In other examples of baby ceramics: my husband made these young Burghers of Calais years ago, then traded them to Philadelphia artist snailbooty, who re-imagined and photographed them thus:

This was years before we actually had a kid. I wonder what his little crying baby sculptures would look like now?

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