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in competitions, such as for the maternity ward of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. He created Radiance, a series of brightly coloured and patterned architectural artworks in specially made waterjet-cut ceramics on the theme of birth and rebirth. He enjoyed the very specific brief: to aid with distraction, to increase wellness through colours and patterns, be easily cleanable and assist in wayfinding.

He relishes such tight briefs and understands commercial concerns, working alongside manufacturers, developers, architects and councils. His project for ceramic columns at the bottom of a skyscraper at College Road in Fairfield, Croydon, came after his project of ceramic beacons, also in Fairfield. This new colonnade involved intense consultation and difficult technical requirements. He designed 16 seven-metre-high columns and two ceramic walls that were made by UK-based handcrafted tile manufacturer Craven Dunnill Jackfield for a main thoroughfare. The columns, inspired by Durham Cathedral, are luscious deep blue graduating to white. ‘In terms of the experience of working on a very large architectural project in the public realm, this is about as good as it gets,’ says Furman.

Another less well-funded project Bristol Quilt, is nearing completion. It uses around 15,000 standard swimming pool tiles, arranged in a grid. Different commercially available sizes and colours are mixed, with some that are waterjet-cut. ‘I immersed myself in the project for a few weeks and got really into it,’ he explains. ‘I came up with something that is way too complicated. I think it was beyond what the council had expected,

so they were very keen on it.’ The tiles unexpectedly became unavailable, and Furman had to redesign it using a different range.

Not content with that, he is also currently designing a 57-metre glass and ceramic mosaic at London Bridge for the London School of Mosaic, a charity working with young offenders, children and elderly people. The design has to work for people with limited making skills. COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS On a smaller scale, Furman has collaborated with the Beit Collective on Baalbek, a collection of porcelain vessels inspired by the ruins in Lebanon that were launched at Future Heritage in 2021. He has also just co-operated with Kasama Potters, a town of several hundred non-traditional potters in Japan, to produce Petalfall, two f lower strewn vessels in a collaboration with ceramicist Hiroyuki Ōnuki. ‘The vessels are designed to match his technique. I have always scribbled f lowers in a kind of stupid way and I wanted to use them,’ Furman explains. They reference his sense of loss of two of his Japanese family and the calming effect of cherry blossom.

In 2021, he designed two ranges of tiles for the Italian ceramic and porcelain mosaic manufacturer Botteganove for Doppia Firma. Salome is a wavy f luid tile to be launched shortly and New Town is a series of geometric tiles that echo the geometry of Georgian Bath and Edinburgh’s New Town. Still to be launched is a new vase form for the pottery manufacturer Nuove Forme in Florence.

Furman has been drawing and painting exuberant colours and patterns since early childhood, ‘My family (a mix of Argentine and Japanese) set me off on a totally bananas sense of style,’ he explains. So he is less than happy with any suggestion that he is ‘inspired’ by more recent designers working in those areas. ‘My designs are always beautifully crafted and approachable, usually adorable, often cheeky, and take inspiration from my passionate and lifelong exploration of form, material, colour and ornament,’ he explains. ‘My objects, artwork, spaces and installations are invariably embodiments of the diasporic, f luid and roaming cultures that surrounded me at home and in London as I grew up, and which continue to fascinate and inspire me to this day.’

Above all Furman just adores ceramics. ‘If I want to sleep well and I want to go into a happy sleep, I dream about cities of really colourful ceramics, or coral reefs of majolica that you swim through. Welcome to my brain.’

For more details visit; Adam Nathaniel Furman will be interviewed by Corinne Julius as part of the ClayTalks series at Ceramic Art London at 1pm on Sunday 10 April, for details visit

16 May/June 2022

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