You want to stage your ceramic creations in the most beautiful way? Presenting your pottery to obtain a wow effect is not so complicated.
Here are some general tips that will help you, whether it’s to make a photographic staging, an exhibition scenography, or to showcase your products in a shop window or at a market. The idea is that the viewer can naturally project themselves into your creative universe!
Group your pottery by color
If one wants to give an ordered effect, the most obvious way is to group identical pieces together. It works in a store, but it is not necessarily the most attractive for the eye looking for inspiration.
So you can group the pieces by color ranges. You create a collector’s effect without it being boring. It creates the feeling that the arrangement is intentional, it reduces the cluttered look, without making the whole thing seem fixed.
In this example Marina (LLoma) stages her ceramic creations by playing with the bluish or pinkish tones that punctuate the surfaces of her pieces.
Work the material effects with care
Putting colored pottery on a neutral or natural background, or neutral pottery on a colored and satin background will further enhance your pieces, giving them a “work of art” look.
The reverse can also work very well, when the entire decor is reminiscent of the material effects of the piece. However, the effect must be controlled because the risk is that the atmosphere comes before the legibility of the room.
In this example by Simone Bodmer Turner, all the elements recall the material effects of the room: the irregular wall, the crumpled and raw fabrics chosen in neutral tones with just a few touches of light to direct the eye. If you want to work the light with care, I advise you to read the article: Photographing her ceramic creations in 5 steps.
If you want to make an interesting background, you can use wallpapers, fabrics, palettes or plywood boards repainted according to your “house colors”. You can also invest in vinyl textured backgrounds. There are some with infinite material prints, the effect is bluffing.
Staging his creations in context
Showing his pieces in context really allows the observer to imagine himself using the object. The scene can be realistic or not, but one can imagine how to use the object in his own interior.
We can also try to project the observer into a universe that stimulates his imagination, that makes him travel or tells him a story. This kind of photo is more difficult to realize because it is necessary to call upon third parties, friends or extras, and more decorations.
Sometimes it is even closer to fashion photography. But you can completely transfigure your creations in this way. The freedom is total but the universe must always remain consistent with your brand.
Arrange your ceramic creations in an artistic way
Although it takes a good eye to mix pottery of different shapes, it gives a very artistic look when it’s time to show them off. Here, experimentation is the key. Arrange the pottery pieces so that smaller pieces are in the middle of larger pieces.
Keep your groupings fairly tight, and add a decorative object to balance if necessary to avoid the effect of floating in the void.
Place larger items towards the back and pieces with more volume in the center. Medium sized pottery can be added as a link between the two, and finally smaller pieces will fill the empty spaces, creating an even more harmonious arrangement.
Creating style with plants
Adding flowers, houseplants and dried herb bouquets to your decor will really enhance your rooms and their glazes.
Choose plants that match the room, without “stealing” the spotlight. This works very well with wide or deep vases. Smaller pieces can be used as soliflores.
Speckled enamels or soft-toned glazes, for example, are perfect for this kind of setting.
To know the artistic influences of your pottery
From stoneware to earthenware to porcelain, there are many artistic currents and styles of pottery. Indeed, we consider under the name pottery any clay container, so it is very vast.
The choice of clay will influence. Porcelain is a solid, vitreous and translucent ceramic material which will give a luminous effect, very finished, while earthenware or stoneware will perhaps give a rougher aspect especially if they contain chamotte. Here again it depends a lot on the finishes you have given to your piece.
To learn more about the different types of earthenware and their effect, consult the guide to getting started with ceramics.
The manufacturing technique also plays an important role. A molded piece will often have a more controlled, symmetrical appearance, creating an atmosphere of balance. A hand-formed piece will be able to create this effect, if the finishes are well crafted. But shaping is ideal for creating a thrown effect in a dynamic movement frozen by time and firing. This can also be achieved with effect glazes.
In any case many designers have experimented before you. Knowing their world or having historical references will inevitably help you to enhance your own work. Either to stand out from a style or to make it your own.
It doesn’t have to be intentional when you create, but knowing how to analyze it afterwards is a real asset.
Staging oneself with one’s creations
Sometimes it can be very interesting to put yourself in the spotlight with your pottery. The most common is to show yourself making them. But you can also go off the beaten track. Presenting your pottery directly to your audience is a very nice way to show your world. The person who buys usually likes to know the artist’s world, and associate the artist’s personality with his work.
Whatever universe you decide to create, it is important not to show too much. You should worry about quality rather than quantity. It is important that the eye moves to strong points in the image. You can have one beautiful piece as a focal point, and complete the color palette with small accessories.
Always to attract the eye to the room but also to rest the gaze, it is interesting to work your image with a blurred background, thanks to a short depth of field.