After graduating with a master’s in education from the University of Alberta, where he used art principles to better visualize scientific concepts, Edmonton-based ceramic artist Benjamin Oswald took his passion for clay out of the classroom and onto the road. He trained with a professor of sculpture in South Korea and studied under celebrated British ceramicists in the U.K.—but wherever he was working in the world (he’s currently back in Edmonton), Oswald found that his greatest challenge with this expressive medium is deciding which ideas he wants to try versus those that should be tried.
With this sense that he is always “beginning,” he is able to keep things new and in a state of continuous learning and improving—whether through manipulating pure white porcelain into different colours or cutting and altering slip-cast vessels—like his most recent vase collection, which took seven months to get just right. “The concept of a vessel has become a bit of a metaphor for being human to me,” he says. “I think that’s why I love to see my hand-thrown pieces and cut and altered vases in multiples and in relationship to each other. It appears to me that they are engaged in a conversation.”—