Artist Jon Almeda creates graceful, curving jars and bowls covered in jewel-like glazes that seem to glow. He creates these pieces by throwing them on a pottery wheel and firing them, just like any other ceramicist.
Seems pretty average, right? Well, not exactly.
There's just one difference between Almeda's pottery and the kind you might find in a store: Almeda's is tiny.
These vases, jugs, and bottles are tiny enough that you can fit several in the palm of your hand. They seem impossibly fragile, but they're sturdy enough to withstand a kiln, and Almeda has perfected the craft of tiny ceramics.
Why create tiny pots like these? Almeda simply likes to challenge expectations. Before working on the micro scale, he worked on the macro -- the very macro. "I am a bit of an extremist," he readily admits on his website. "For many years, I was throwing massive pieces, the bigger the better type mentality." But then he happened across a book on miniature ceramics, and was hooked. "Throwing small really allows me to focus on the shape and form of a piece. It is a very meditative form of creation."
All of Almeda's pieces are on a roughly one-inch scale.
He's even developed a special wheel for throwing his tiny pots. It's a tiny pottery wheel, only two inches in diameter, atop a motor in a boxy enclosure no bigger than an external hard drive.
Almeda's pottery wheel, called the "Curio Wheel."
The knob allows for adjustment of the wheel's speed.
It's perfect for creating pottery anywhere -- and we do mean anywhere.
Other times, Almeda simply creates the tiny pots atop a larger piece of clay.
The pots get glazed and decorated, just like their bigger counterparts.
You can see much more of Almeda's work, including a number of in-progress videos, on his Instagram and website. He's also a member of the International Guild of Miniature Artisans, who offer classes on how to make all things mini, if you're interested in taking a crack at it yourself.