70,000 Tiny Amphorae Envelop the Voluminous Forms of Grégoire Scalabre’s Elaborate Sculptures

ByMary E. Alvarez

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April 16, 2022

Kate Mothes

“The Ultimate Metamorphosis of Thetis,” (2021-2022). Picture © Charles De Borggraef. All pictures shared with authorization

Accumulating thousands of miniature porcelain vessels around massive surfaces and curvatures, Grégoire Scalabre confronts preconceptions of sort, scale, and substance in his intricate sculptures. The Paris-based mostly artist hand-turns countless tiny, vase-like containers reminiscent of amphorae, or ancient storage jars that ended up ordinarily very long and slim so that they could be snugly stored collectively. Drawing on a centuries-old tradition of French porcelain building and an desire in Greek mythology, his dynamic functions mix remarkable complex skill with a desire to recast the medium in a new light and experiment with its actual physical restrictions.

About 1 to 1.5 inches in top and fifty percent an inch extensive, just about every a person of Scalabre’s minuscule components may differ slightly from the following. Some have for a longer period flutes than some others, squatter bases, flattened tops, or a curl to the lip of the opening. When accumulated, the parts surface to undulate throughout the surface area in fluid patterns. The inherent delicacy of great porcelain is challenged by the monumental scale at which these will work consider shape.


“The Last Metamorphosis of Thetis,” (2021-2022). Image © Charles De Borggraef

Standing a lot more than six ft tall and months in the making, the artist’s most new do the job, “The Final Metamorphosis of Thetis,” recalls a tale from Greek mythology about a sea nymph by the similar title. He translated a sketch of the composition into a 3D product, then developed 70,000 particular person ceramic parts by hand. One by a person, just about every vessel was dipped in glaze, fired at a superior temperature, and at the time cooled, adhered to a composition made of resin foam.

Two of Scalabre’s sculptures, including “The Ultimate Metamorphosis of Thetis,” are on see via May 1 as part of Porcelain Virtuosity at Homo Faber 2022 in Venice. You can locate far more of his operate on Instagram. (through IGNANT)


“Cygnus”, (2021). Graphic © Anthony Girardi

“Soane,” (2020). Picture © Anthony Girardi

“Soane,” (2020). Impression © Anthony Girardi

“Achilles,” (2021). Graphic courtesy of Todd Merill Gallery

“Achilles,” (2021). Graphic courtesy of Todd Merill Gallery

Picture © Charles De Borggraef

Impression © Charles De Borggraef

Impression © Virginie Mercier



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