Art: Ruth Borgenicht creates chainmail out of clay to stunning effect

11 September 2013
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1 minute read

The strength of ceramic work which has been gracing It’s Nice That recently has been bowling us over on the regular, and the recent emergence of Ruth Borgenicht proves again that the magical spring providing us with all of these clay-minded creatives has yet to run dry.

Her work is based around a fascination with chainmail; a structural wonder actually seeing as it is made from tiny interlocking metal rings and yet has acted as a barrier between the human body and imminent danger since Medieval times. Ruth recreates the form of chainmail, but juxtaposes the structural strength with the fragility of fired clay. How exactly she manages to do this – and to such stunning effect – have no idea, but the historical basis upon which her work is founded has me fascinated.

She explains: “I use the chain mail pattern and other woven patterns to create ceramic works that conjure up a sense of permanence and defensive concealment. Like the ancient armor, my pieces are made of a fabric of moveable interlocking rings. Using clay to make a protective mesh is contradictory; for how can it defend anything, much less itself? Visually stone-like, the pieces appear strong and impenetrable, belying their inherent fragility.”

Ruth Borgenicht will be on view at Snyderman-Works from August 27 to September 28.


Ruth Borgenicht: Cloak


Ruth Borgenicht: Day and Night Trays


Ruth Borgenicht: Wood-fired Basket


Ruth Borgenicht: Portrait


Ruth Borgenicht: Reflections


Ruth Borgenicht: Roll Over Top

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About the Author

Maisie Skidmore

Maisie joined It’s Nice That fresh out of university in the summer of 2013 as an intern before joining full time as an Assistant Editor. Maisie left It’s Nice That in July 2015.

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