For designer Evgeniya Plotnikova, ceramics has always been an extracurricular activity. Born and raised in Siberia, Plotnikova came to the U.S. to study architecture and is now a practicing architect in Seattle. She began working with clay in 2019 as a creative outlet while living in New York, and eventually began her own studio, EVG.Works. Today, Plotnikova works in a mix of media, but her interest in testing the boundaries between function and objet d’art remains.
What initially drew you to ceramics? I started working with clay as a meditative, stress-relief activity, but I became fascinated with the material itself. On some level, it helped me rediscover a sense of childhood joy and simple play, and it became a medium of self-expression.
How does your work as an architect inform your artistic practice? My brain works naturally in 3D as an architect. I’m fascinated with form, and I’m also a minimalist who likes bold gestures and color. My architectural background helps me bring a discipline to my art practice, and in return, my art practice helps me approach design from a place of lightness and freedom.
Tell us about your sculptural vases. Some of my most interesting designs originated from “mistakes.” With the open-closed vases, the original plan was to alter the shape of a cylinder by creating a pin tuck, but it resulted in a crack in the middle. I cut out the crack to prevent it from growing, but accidentally cut a much larger shape that exposed the vase’s interior. It resulted in an unusual and sculptural form, and I realized it offered new possibilities for displaying flowers.
What keeps you coming back to the studio? Clay put me on the path of discovering myself as an artist and as a woman. I love that my not-your-typical vase designs invite people to play around and make interesting flower compositions. Ultimately, my studio practice is about enjoying the process and radiating good energy.