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Ceramics & Glass (MA)

Eugenio Michelini

Eugenio Michelini was born and raised in Italy. He came into contact with clay at a very early age when playing in his parents’ vegetable garden. Clay, or rather, mud, has been the medium to build his toys, to entertain himself, and to reproduce what was around him. The landscape around him with organic forms such as plants, flowers and vegetables, became his favourite inspiration. All the vegetables were rigorously aligned in rows and arranged in squares or rectangular forms; but their growth softened and sometimes broke these patterns. Order seeking disorder.

Eugenio started working with clay at Santa Monica College, Los Angeles, and received his BFA from California State University, Long Beach in 2016, followed by an MA at the Royal College of Art in 2020. In 2019 he was awarded the Charlotte Frazer Prize and his work has been exhibited at the International Museum of Ceramic Design, Laveno Mombello (VA), Italy.


Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Ceramics & Glass (MA)

The focus of my interest lies in the optical quality and material potential of colour, based on theories of light and perception. I enrich simple shapes and patterned surfaces with slips and glazes. My impaired hearing condition compels me to rely on a colour palette that ‘listens’ to my personal relationship with the object, its optical movements, textures, surface, shape and material, which are complementary to the object itself.

My inspiration comes from the dynamism and animation, like the movement of a flame, found in Mannerist and Baroque styles of decoration. The serpentine gestures and shapes of its figures, almost artificial, are distorted with an incredible tension that engages the viewer. This ‘theatricality’ - excess versus finesse, rich colours and textures, and compositions manipulated to create a sophisticated elegance - triggers my curiosity and the desire to explore it through Parian clay, a material that allows a wide range of surface qualities. This body of work, with its poetic pattern sequence, is to be shown as a conceptual installation that displays the relationship between colour and musicality.

GREEN CYLINDER (DETAIL) — Cylinders size: 64x175x75 mm

CYLINDER COMPOSITION — Tall cylinders size: 64x175x75 mm Small cylinders size: 64x150x73 mm

INSTALLATION, CRESCENDO DIMINUENDO (RENDERING) — Installation of 21 cylinders in 3 shelves. Please enquire for commissions or quotations.


I have chosen Parian clay for my practice because of the qualities of its marble surface: the wide range of colours that it is possible to obtain, from bright hues to pastels tints: and for its self-glazing optical effects. The abstract surfaces become primary in their freedom which they offer for the flow of slip. Decoration, or pattern, becomes supplemental, or a secondary voice, creating a gesture. The process of material movement through gravity becomes an abstract form generator.

The cylindrical shape better emphasises the flux, flows, and movement of colours, creating a sort of landscape, an articulation of time through the use of coloured slips to build a free-floating construction.The objects in sequence, can create something akin to a musical notation or rhythm, crescendo, diminuendo and ritornello.


Parian clay, stains.

In Collaboration with:

Peter helped me in the rendering of my installation.
AbstractionCeramics&Glasscolourcolour theorycontemporary ceramicsFine ArtFlowFluxharmonyInstallationMovementparian

EXCESS VERSUS FINESSE — Stoneware, Parian clay, stained glazes. Size: 295x410x9mm

ENTROPIC DIPTYCH — Stoneware, Parian clay, stained glazes. Size: 295x410x9mm (each panel)

ENTROPIC YELLOW — Stoneware, Parian clay, stained glazes. Size: 295x410x8 mm

ENTROPIC YELLOW (DETAIL) — Stoneware, Parian clay, stained glazes.

The inspiration from this body of work comes from my childhood memories, a glass jar in my mother’s kitchen containing kidney beans. I was amazed by the overlapping of hundreds of shapes and the visual effect of the steam drops dripping on the jar’s surface.
The panels offer a resistance to slip through its texture and a sort of unpredictability about the flows and glazes and movement propelled by gravity hindered by the bumps.


Porcelain, Parian clay, glaze





Clay as a plastic material gives me a greater freedom to explore my practice in two different processes and techniques: slip casting and press moulding.


Parian clay, stoneware porcelain, stains

ORDER AND CHAOS — Ink on paper, 594x841mm



The lockdown’s disruption has been a moment to reflect on my practice and develop my creativity using other media. Suddenly, a familiar place like home becomes strange and surreal in a limited time and space. My core practice now became the act of sketching with pencils, pens, watercolours, digitally reinforced with Photoshop.

E.H. Gombrich, in his book, “Sense of Order”, explains the universal human impulse to seek order and rhythm in space and time through poetry, dance, music, architecture, and arts. Order affects all structures: nature, the organisation of a society, our everyday life, and culture. Order is essentially precious with its counterparts being: the tendencies toward disorder, chaos and entropy.
Chaos emerges naturally; evolves through decoration and applied order, which shows a tendency toward pattern, repetition, harmony and symmetry. Our eyes are also attracted to discontinuity, a break, a new continuity. My work can be described as a search for rhythm, pattern, repetition, seriality, and harmony.


Paper, Ink, watercolour

RCA bursary for continuing studies



Charlotte Fraser Prize for continuing studies

22 July 2020
12:30 (GMT + 0)

Beyond expectations: Exploring a diversity in practice through teaching

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