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Adolfo Mendonça

Adolfo Mendonça Ceramicist
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Advocate of Azorean beauty

  • • Adolfo discovered his vocation during his studies in Lisbon
  • • His Azorean roots and love for his island beckoned him home
  • • He transformed his garage into a workshop

When Adolfo Mendonça left Angra do Heroísmo to study Equipment Design in Lisbon’s prestigious Faculty of Art, he quickly felt a need to complement theory with practice. “I explored ceramics during my studies. It enabled me to express myself and materialise my ideas.” After completing his degree, Adolfo returned to his island eager to create handmade ceramic objects inspired by the lush nature and the sound of the ocean. He uses traditional tools, such as the potter’s wheel, but innovates with representative textures and shapes of maritime life such as sea urchins. Winning the best Contemporary Artisan prize at the International Artisanal Fair in Portugal (FIA) is a promising step for this young ambassador whose pieces incite discovering the Azores.

Read the full interview

Works

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Special Reef bowl

This decorative bowl has a reef sculpture on one edge, it is predominantly white with some hand painted details. The reef is inspired by the sea around the Azores in which barnacles, sea urchin and some corals flourish. The slab technique is used to make the bowl and then sculpt the sea life one by one on the side of the bowl. Every reef is unique.

Height 11 cm
Diameter 32 cm

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Reef bowl

This decorative bowl has a personalised reef sculpture in turquoise glaze. The reef is inspired by the marine life of the Azores like barnacles, sea urchin and some corals. The slab technique is used to make the bowl and the sea life is then sculpted one by one on the side of the bowl. As in nature, every reef is unique.

Height 11 cm
Diameter 32 cm

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Sea Urchin box

This ceramic box is inspired by the iconic sea urchin which is a species very commonly found in the Azores sea. Firstly, a plaster mould was used to form the shape. After this step, the interior of the piece is glazed in white, while selenium red is used for the external part of the box using a pouring technique.

Height 19.5 cm
Diameter 12.5 cm

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Rough Sea

This decorative ceramic bowl is inspired by the often rough and vigorous Azorean sea. The outside is glazed using the pouring technique in dark grey, reminiscent of the basalt rocks of the island. The interior is sculpted to look like the texture of the rough sea surface.

Height 7 cm
Diameter 21.5 cm

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Reef jar

This striking ceramic jar has coral reefs sculpted on the outside. The structure of the jar is made using the slab technique, then the coral reef is inspired by the marine life present in the sea around the Azores, like barnacles, sea urchin and some corals. All sea creatures are sculpted one by one and composed on these random ecosystems. This piece is glazed in selenium red using the pouring technique.

Height 25 cm
Diameter 10 cm

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