Exploding Plates

a project by Adam Knoche

category collectible design town Dallas, TX


The art of potterymaking is an ancient practice and a testament to the enduring human desire for creating functional and beautiful objects. As someone who is passionate about this form of art, can you tell us about your passion?

My work has a foundation in material and process. I am drawn to the color, texture, and feel of clay. Clay can be soft and record marks and movement of the maker while also transforming into a hard stone-like material vulnerable to cracks and breakage. The broken or fractured are often seen as flawed or damaged. In my work, I encourage and manipulate the material to accentuate these “flaws”.

I believe that these visual elements give a sense of introspection to the viewers own personal experience in life. My visual language has developed over time through my experiences. I have a background as a machinist working with steel and graphite in an industrial setting. This experience juxtaposed with my affinity and curiosity for nature gives a unique aesthetic to my work. I tend to look at many sources for inspiration; derelict buildings and spaces, natural formations and the changing environment.

I derive my conceptual ideas from environmental and political landscapes and respond to my surroundings in whichever setting I find myself in, both physically and mentally.

Your design research is clearly material-based. Can you tell us more about your creative process?

I use raw earth toned clays that are pulverized into powders. I use scraps that are leftover from projects and use anything I can find to create artwork. I hate seeing good materials wasted and thrown away. I get my materials from both foraging in the environment and purchased from a local clay supplier in Dallas, TX.

Ceramics is a medium that can have a large carbon foot print with materials that are imported from around the world… I use excavated clay, foraged minerals and locally sourced colorants and materials. I also, recycle everything from clay to glazes to even old bisque ware, which I pulverize into grog for clay.

I try to push the boundaries of ceramic material through the use of techniques that I developed and researched during my academic studies and travels abroad.

During 5VIE Design Week 2023, as part of the "Prendete e Mangiate" collective exhibition, you presented a set of dishes, whose surface evokes harsh soil and roughness, but at the same time fragility. How did the inspiration for this project come about?

I have always been attracted to the fractured, broken, and discarded (eroded buildings, objects, landscapes). Also, the time I spent in nature taught me to take risks and offered me time and space to immerse myself in organic matter.

The inspiration for my work comes from memories of both the natural world and memories I have of various sites in nature and life. I see the work as being in discourse with how we as humans perceive our environment.

Adam Knoche

meet the _Artist

Adam Knoche


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