Manos Kalamenios

Elements: earth fire

The Monolith series 

Manos has been a great fan of the River Thames with all the history attached to it.  His interest peaked even more when he was introduced to mud larking.

 

The layers of history within the river and the fragments of this history within the river findings, fascinated him.  One day Manos came across a fragment of a medieval tile, a tile that was different to any other fragment he had found before because it had layers of colours. After some research,  he discovered that it was carbon trapping and it occurred during a reduction firing.

As  Manos was in his first year at the Royal College of Art he had the opportunity to put his findings into practice and do extensive research on the carbon trapping and the hidden layers beneath the surface. With the help of chemistry and extensive testing the Monolith were created.

The Monolith cylindrical vessels were created through the investigation of medieval tiles found on the banks of the River Thames and the recalibration of the formulas of low temperature clays to stoneware. It was all about the hidden layers beneath the surface.

For Manos, material is at the centre of his practice.  His designs are the products of experiments in materiality;  the clay is not a static material but a starting point - everything develops from the constant changes in mixture and method.

 

He sees himself as an alchemist, exploring material and mining new colours, shapes, and textures from the precise re-calibration of formulas.

 

It is, he thinks, this constant testing of material that stimulates his practice and gives the work its strength.

 

Trying to use unconventional materials and tools and utilising them in unexpected ways that stretch their potential is of constant interest to Manos.

 

At the root of his work is endless curiosity. The love of experimentation and explorative practice leads Manos to many innovative approaches and original creative results. His practice is diverse and his interests span a number of creative outcomes.

 

The tactility of a material, how it feels to touch and hold, is a key part of its overall character, informing just as much as its visual landscape; the work prioritises this aspect of materiality.

Manos feels that it is very important to let the material do what is best for it in the most simple way possible instead of forcing it to be something else.  His aim is always to be true to the material, listening to its voice and observing its personality..

 

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