kim nuri
In Conversation with Kim Nuri 

Kim Nuri is the artist behind JAERYO Ceramics based in Seoul, Korea. 

Her work has always interested us, with creative designs which have a natural and organic way of assimilating into the surrounding spaces with which they occupy.

Deviating from the conventional idea of pottery as merely practical, the work is focused on expanding the boundaries of ceramics. Kim's work is both decorative and unique, and aesthetically beautiful, drawing from both traditional and contemporary ceramic techniques.

We sat down with her to learn a little more about her pathway into the world of ceramics, her creative process, and most recent Grap Nuage Collection. 

How did you get into ceramics and what was the path you took to become a ceramicist? 

I've always loved using my hands, especially throughout my childhood. When I think about it, all of my after-school classes were subjects which involved making something by hand. I’ve always enjoyed the act of creating. 

In my first year of university I was working with a variety of materials but I eventually chose to major in pottery because I enjoyed working with clay. I thought the properties of clay really matched my personality. 

My education in pottery was focused on the technical, rather than a broader art and design education, so I really had to develop my own creativity and learn about the conceptual aspects of design myself. 

Although this method of teaching was uncomfortable at the time, in hindsight I think this approach to learning made it possible for me do the work I do now without being confined to certain aesthetics.

After graduating it didn’t take long for me to decide on my creative path. I got a workspace and started to make my own work. Everything flowed organically from there. 

Can you tell us about your Grap Nuage Collection and the concept behind it? 

Three years ago I took a sabbatical and travelled to Europe for the first time. I was inspired by the sky and the clouds there which changed colour depending on the light of the sun. The sky in Europe was so different to the skies I was used to seeing in Korea.

The light of the sky varied according to the time and the weather, as did the colour. I found similarities in that to the kiln where glaze is expressed in various ways depending on temperature and was inspired to make objects that resembled both the clouds and the light which were effected by temperature. 

What inspired the colour palette and glazing choices of these ceramic pieces?

Since the goal was to express a sky which changed with time and light, I spent time observing various colours of the sky and chose glazes which could really express my observations. This was a very intuitive and subjective expression.

This collection explores interesting elements of form and shape. Can you tell us a little bit about why the vessels lean towards abstraction and not formal methods of ceramic making? 

In my work I try to show the pure aesthetic of form of an object, rather than its practical meaning. Therefore any number of interpretations can be given.

What are you working on next? 

I am currently preparing a body of work called the NRK Obsession Series which is inspired by the idea of being obsessed or stuck on something. 

It started with the idea that the artistic process could evolve or stem from an obsession. 

This series is as a way for me to gather, express and explore the things I indulge in too much. 

At the moment I am obsessed with spheres, corners, lines and both classical and organic forms. So I’m working on both elaborate and functional works, which will expand into various artistic categories, including a jewellery collection. 

Photography | Kim Nuri