We're Obsessed With Eleonor Boström's Functional Ceramic Dogs

We're Obsessed With Eleonor Boström's Functional Ceramic Dogs


One can almost always find Eleonor Boström working at her studio, the British Grocery, a former Mission District market turned collective creative space, where she sculpts porcelain into miniature homes or tiny dogs patiently sitting at the bottom of tea cups.

Boström, a graduate of Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, creates witty ceramics that reimagine the home and domesticity—each object, despite its whimsical beauty, is utilitarian and serves an integral role in daily life. Her small-scale sculptures include jovial acrobatic canines that hold your matches, act as pin cushions, and make sure you don't lose your keys. Boström's black-and-white porcelain creations owe their modernity and quirkiness to a streamlined yet undoubtedly handcrafted appearance. Her art has been exhibited internationally at galleries in Sweden, London, and Barcelona, as well as locally at the Red Brick Studios art shows and West Coast Craft.

Recently, 7x7 caught up with Boström to talk about her inspirations and aspirations.

(via tictail.com)

Although your subjects range from people to houses, dogs feature most prominently in your work. Why dogs?

Some people are baby crazy, I'm dog crazy. I've always had dogs growing up, so now out of lack of having a dog I make them out of clay. And why don't I have a dog? Well, it's an ongoing discussion between me and my husband who's a cat person. Sometimes I think if I had a dog I might not need to have them as inspiration.

What draws you to ceramics?

Fundamentally it's a material and craft that you are always learning more about. That's what intrigues me. What I find interesting about the ceramic process is that it has two very distinct phases. The first phase is when you are shaping the clay into whatever you want. Then you have a ton of control. I really enjoy this phase, it's creative and meditative at the same time. The second phase is the firing. It's a big contrast to the first phase. There's so much less control and room for error. You set up the kiln and then you have to wait to see if the piece turned out as you hope it will. The second phase I like less, so that's where I'm trying to learn more and make the outcome more predictable.

(Courtesy of Eleonor Boström)

What do you love the most about working in San Francisco?

The happy people, the fog, and the shy sun make for a good work environment. I like the small city vibe that San Francisco has. I can find stuff for my work in my neighborhood. I particularly like the art store, Arch, which just relocated a few minutes from my studio. It's my favorite place to get art supplies.

What are some of your favorite places in San Francisco?

I like 24th Street, Dynamo Donuts, and Press Shop! Ocean Beach and Chinatown are good for weekend strolling.

Does traveling between Stockholm and San Francisco influence your art or art-making?

I've lived in Stockholm, Berlin and San Francisco the last 4 years and with every move I've had to set up a new ceramic studio from scratch because I've never been able to bring all my equipment with me. For example, when I moved to Berlin I couldn't bring my potter's wheel, which forced me to learn handbuilding techniques to make my ceramics. Every move has given me the opportunity to explore a new technique or tool, because I had to start all over again each time. It puts me out of my comfort zone and forces me to learn something new.

What do you like the most about having your studio at The British Grocery?

I'm so happy about this studio. I share the space with my friend Christine Roux who's also a ceramicist. We found it through a friend. It's really spacious and it fits all our equipment. Also we are planning to hold ceramic classes in the near future.

(Courtesy of Eleonor Boström)

What are some of your favorite local galleries and art spaces?

Minnesota Street Project, I like because it has around 16 galleries in one place, kind of a department store for galleries. Ratio 3 feels like a hidden gem in Mission and it always has great exhibitions. The David Ireland house has the best guided art tour I've been on in this city.

Where can people see your art in person in San Francisco?

At the Museum of Craft & Design's shop, at Little Paper Planes, Tantrum or the newly opened Human Condition on Capp Street. I will also be exhibiting at West Coast Craft November 12th &13th with artist Evah Fan.

Do you hold open studios where people can purchase your ceramics?

Yes! Usually we have open studios twice a year. The next one is the Artspan Open Studios on November 5th & 6th at 11am to 6pm.

What are you looking forward to these days?

I'm working on my first solo show. It's in the far future and will be in Stockholm. The theme for the show is dogs, always, and I'm doing a lot of prototyping right now, exploring new colors and textures. The dogs will be in different sizes, forms and colors and I'm very excited!

(Courtesy of Eleonor Boström)

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