Twenty-nine-year-old Sean Forest Roberts is an artist and ceramicist who finds joy and meaning in his chosen form of art. Roberts runs Forest Ceramics Company with his partner, Valeri Aleksandrov. His knowledge in chemistry and four years of experience in science labs serve as the foundation for developing incredible ceramic processes and techniques for intricate patterns.
Roberts, from Orcas Island, Washington, has gone viral with his regular demonstrations of an exquisite process of carving colored ceramics to create astonishing designs.
Roberts discovered his love for pottery as a high-school student. He’s been working with ceramics for 15 years now. While studying chemistry at Carleton College, he developed several unique techniques to suit his art and expand his skill set. He’s been working on colored porcelain for seven years now.
“I think it’s a fun fact that I have never taken an art class other than ceramics, and my formal education in ceramics was very minimal,” Roberts said. “My ceramic knowledge is self-taught, and I am most interested in exploring processes that are not common knowledge. I continue to learn every day through my experimentation.”
He enjoys carving the most
Roberts’s work is a source of fulfillment and a means of livelihood for him. On his website, he explains that he’s fascinated by the inexhaustible patterns that could be carved out from one platter of ceramic.
“The process I use is called slip casting. The first step is to create a prototype form on the wheel, then create a plaster mold of that form. Once the plaster mold has been made, it can be ‘cast’ a couple of times in one day, using slip — liquefied clay — to recreate the original prototype form. After casting there are 10–12 steps to undergo for each piece, and it takes about a week to have the final product out of final glaze firing,” Roberts said.
Roberts’s business produces and sells amazing ceramic pieces, including bowls, jewelry, vases, and utensils. He has 360,000 followers on his Instagram page and his fanbase continues to grow with international recognition.
Speaking abour his source of inspiration, Roberts said, “My studio is half laboratory and half playground. The majority of my inspiration comes from nature and chemistry. I bring my experimental mindset to the studio, and my work is constantly changing as I explore new techniques and materials. I thrive most when I am trying something new, and learning through the process.”
Here are some examples of his work: