The creator of these beautiful ceramic pieces is Hessa Al Ajmani, an Emirati visual artist born in Abu Dhabi and based in Ajman. She graduated from Zayed University in 2016 with a BFA in Visual Arts and Applied Psychology. All of her ceramic pieces are meticulously hand-built using clay slabs. While a wheel-thrown piece normally takes a few minutes to make, a slab-built dish can take hours, if not days. She gathers small flowers and fronds from her mother’s garden where she presses the groupings onto her earthenware and stoneware pieces, leaving simple and realistic imprints. After the clay is fired she hand-paints the tiny imprints. On the website, Frankie, she explains plant sources and the meaning of her work:
“Most of the plants I use are handpicked from the desert or my mother’s herb and vegetable garden, which means that producing my ceramics takes seasons to grow, nurture and build. I consider nature to be a key collaborator in my work and I have to be flexible with what it offers me. I’m also currently looking for ways to harvest clay locally.”
“Picking plants and wildflowers, and impressing them onto functional pieces is my way of researching and understanding more about the native flora from the deserts of the UAE. All in all, my work relies heavily on the notion of homeland vs. one’s conscious choice to be in it.”
Images: Courtesy of Hessa Al Ajmani.