Prizes and Awards

The IAC decided to create a new webpage focused on prizes and awards won by our members in the context of prestigious international competitions, starting in 2017.

This is yet another way to promote contemporary ceramics and contribute to making IAC artists more visible. Announcements will be relayed on our Facebook page “International Academy of Ceramics”. This new webpage will be notably devoted to those distinctions obtained in the context of competitions from partnering institutions of the IAC, such as KOCEF, Mino, Seto, Yingge, Vallauris, etc.

Please send your notice to the IAC Office ( or which will take care of the publication.

Porcelain, carved and turned, 1290 degrees, 2017

Marc Leuthold

Esprit/Spirit, received the seconde price of the first edition of the Blanc de Chine International Ceramic Competition. 

My submission for the Blanc de Chine competition is “Esprit/Spirit.”  This sculpture consists of four ceramic objects presented in relation to two wooden bases. The piece is therefore a set unified thematically and in media.  Historically, white Chinese porcelains in France were mounted on ormolu bronze bases and in China in the Qing Dynasty on carved wooden bases. 
My porcelains are presented in a manner consistent with this historical context. The major object of the set is a fluted carved wheel.  On the front side of the wheel is a silhouette image of a prototypical female head.  On the reverse side is a harder to discern dragon head and a curved tail inspired by Warring States period (475-221 BC) Chinese jade carvings.  The accompanying vertically presented circular disc resembles somewhat, Bi jade discs with which Chinese buried their dead as a talisman for the departed to enjoy afterlife.  

In front of these two larger circular forms is a small offering bowl and the impression of the inside of my hand, a source of all my life’s work.  “Esprit/Spirit,” made of Dehua porcelain during a Blanc de Chine residency is a representation of different universal energies.  The silhouette and dragon are somewhat like Nietzsche’s Apollo and Dionysus energies in The Birth of Tragedy, a controversial work that has been reviled and admired since being first published in 1872. In their oppositional energies, they are simultaneously creative and destructive, and it is this path that the artist must walk.  

Vlad Basarab

Photo: Vlad Basarab
Vlad Basarab’s installation, titled “THE ARCHEOLOGY OF MEMORY: BOOKS OF FIRE” won the Award of Excellence at the 2017 Cluj International Ceramics Biennale (Cluj Museum of Art, Romania) 

Vlad Basarab (born in 1977 in Bucharest, Romania) is a visual artist working in ceramics with installation, video and performance.  He lives and works in Bucharest, and was recently elected as IAC member in 2017.

Vlad Basarab graduated in 2001 from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a major in Ceramic Art and holds two Master’s degrees, one from Cal State University Long Beach (2003) and one from West Virginia University in Electronic Media (2013). He has been exhibited over 21 solo shows in the United States and in Europe and was a Fulbright scholar (2013-2014). His latest solo show was held at the Brancoveanu Palace Cultural center in Bucharest. Vlad Basarab is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Arts in Bucharest.

Vlad Basarab. Photo: Janina Myronova

“The installation Books of Fire represents culture as the foundation of civilization, symbolized by the use of fired and un-fired clay in the construction of an archaeological site in the likeness of an archetypal library with ceramic books. I have chosen to reference books because they are historic symbols of knowledge and collective memory. The books are symbolically left unwritten to suggest the absence, forgetting and to inspire the viewer to imagine what they may contain. Books are symbols, instruments of memory. From the beginning of history, there has been a strong connection between words and clay, as early forms of writing were on clay tablets. The past plays an important role in my creative process. My role as an artist is to dig through layers of history like an archaeologist in the attempt to recover the loss of collective memory. The notion of historic time and permanence, apparent in the ceramic books, appears in contrast with the fragility of culture and knowledge. In the historical context of the 20th century when ideological and totalitarian systems have led to the mass-destruction of books considered reactionary, the installation brings to attention the human need to save the past through an archaeology of memory.” Vlad Basarab

Torbjørn Kvasbø

Photo: Jørn Hagen

TUBE SCULPTURE received the Grand Prize Award on the 9th Gyeonggi International Internationale Ceramic Biennale (GICB)

Torbjørn Kvasbø, IAC member since 1992 and current vice-president of the Academy, was awarded the Grand Prize at the 9th Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale (GICB), in South Korea, winning out of 2’470 entries by ceramicists from 76 countries. He was distinguished with his artwork “Tube Sculpture”. 

“Craftsmanship and materials, hands, fingers and eyes, are playfully coordinated to generate meaningful visual reflections and new knowledge. The formations and surfaces that occur are often disturbing, ambiguous, immediate and overwhelming – both beautiful and repulsive. All are combined to create a readable whole – the encounters, proportions and precision striking a perfect balance: like a killer punch to the solar plexus. The process remains a continuous dialogue between knowledge, practice and cruel critical reflection.” (Torbjørn Kvasbø)

Torbjørn Kvasbø. Photo: Mattias Lindbäck