Boston Valley Terra Cotta at The Building Centre, Tales From New York Re-Cap

Recently in January, the Building Centre in London, England hosted Tales from New York —Experimental Ceramics in Architecture. Drawing a large crowd of people, this was the final event from the successful “Building With Ceramics Series” sponsored by Boston Valley Terra Cotta. At the event, attendees were able to learn about the resurgence of architectural ceramics from experts in the industry, showing modern day examples of the material in use. Presentations were given by Matt Taberski from Boston Valley Terra Cotta and Andy Brayman, founder of The Matter Factory and Boston Valley Glaze Research & Design Specialist. Additional presentations were given by Darina Zlateva AIA, Senior Associate Principal of KPF NY  and Alexis Harrison, Architectural Ceramics Consultant of ARUP London.

To communicate the transformative property of the medium, Boston Valley brought four glazed terra cotta sculptures to the event. The lobster forms were created to display several glazes that have been used on building projects. The idea for the lobster sculptures stemmed from the 2019 ACAW when Darina Zlateva told a story about a blue lobster and the variety of body colors the species has. Terra cotta’s natural variance and its potential for transformation captures the unique variances of the lobster’s natural palette. When asked “Why lobsters?” Matt Taberski responded that Boston Valley wanted to capture the attention of attendees with glaze samples that were unusual and even absurd.

“Architects constantly look for inspiration for their work online and away from the computer — by taking a walk, looking to nature, and looking beyond buildings. Instead of inundating them with catalogs, brochures and standard samples we wanted to do something unique and memorable. Since the lobster is a sea-creature that has an interesting form and colors, we decided that by creating these sculptures with different glazes, they would stand out and be inspiring. The production of these sculptures utilizes Boston Valley’s standard clay body to illustrate the high degree of surface detail that terra cotta is capable of capturing.”

Crystalline terra cotta glaze sample on a lobster sculpture produced by Boston Valley Terra Cotta for Tales From New York at the Building Centre

A blue-green crystalline glaze was used on this sculpture. The close-up shot shows the interaction between the natural terra cotta and the crystalline glaze.


Red glazed terra cotta sculpture created by Boston Valley Terra Cotta for Tales From New York

A detail of the red glazed terra cotta sculpture created for the Tales From New York event at the Building Centre.

At the end of the event, Boston Valley handed out gift bags containing a copy of the RIBA magazine and several case study brochures. The after-party cocktail hour was sponsored by Boston Valley Terra Cotta, where they got to meet with architects and answer questions pertaining to the presentation.