Form and Substance

Berkshire-based ceramic artist, Michael Boroniec has 30 skulls in his studio that you probably haven’t seen—yet.

When the eyes of the art world are increasingly turned to Instagram as the avenue to find the next big thing, Boroniec has very purposely avoided playing into the relentless documentation and exposure of “the process” of creating work that social media demands.

Keeping his process off the Net hasn’t slowed the career of this Lanesborough, Massachusetts, artist who teaches the ceramic program at the high school he graduated from. His past year has been full of positive press and attention from appreciative collectors and galleries. “I like to have 15 to 20 pieces finished before I show them,“ he says. Keeping all the complex steps it takes to create one of his eye-catching spiral artworks under wraps allows for the presentation of the finished piece to become more of an “unveiling.”  Each of the works starts as a familiar and functional form—a teapot, a vase—which he slices and deconstructs into a shape that presents as weightless, airy, and sculptural.

Even with the attention this particular series has attracted, Boroniec hasn’t stopped creating and experimenting with new works and frequently switches back and forth between projects in his studio. “Being a little scatterbrained in the studio helps me get work done. But it confuses gallerists when they come to visit.” This is where the skulls come in—one of his unseen projects not yet ready for an unveiling. Made from the waste clay that comes from the production of the spirals, they offer him a new challenge to tackle an intimately familiar form and transform it into something entirely new. Certainly they are worth keeping a patient eye monitoring his Instagram to see when they finally get their public moment.

Michael KusekForm and Substance