Introducing Fernando G. Durán

Modern crafts at the heart of tradition.

The intimate and personal relationship of Fernando G. Duran (Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz) with the potter's wheel begins in the early 1980s in the Extremaduran town of Salvatierra de los Barros - the name could not be more premonitory. There, a very young Fernando meets the master ceramist Luciano Nogales and from him he gradually learns the fundamentals of an ancient craft. With this initial training completed, Fernando returned to his native Jerez where he began to go to some of the few potteries that remained in the city at that time and teach his first workshops and courses. That already in the 90s he decided to set up his own pottery workshop seemed like a natural move.

There he began to produce what he calls 100% utilitarian pieces: bowls, vases, glasses, jugs. But not long after, Fernando G. Duran begins to create what others will begin to call "the strange things that Fernando does in his free time" but which over time have become the watchword of his proposal and give it a unique, unmistakable character. What began as craftsmanship has gradually moved into the realms of art.

Fernando G. Duran maintains that art is created, while craftsmanship is born. The craftsman, with his craft and expertise, helps create objects that fulfill a function or cover a need. Art is, however, a game, a random drift, pure creativity not subject to function or utility. Fernando comments that he feels like an artisan above all, that it depends more on the eyes of the viewer whether his pieces are considered art. We believe that the Jerez ceramist is craftsman and artist in equal parts because by giving birth from craftsmanship, he creates and innovates from art.

Fernando G. Duran's "strange things" are risky, playful, surprising pieces that manage to reformulate the traditional codes of a manual craft that has its roots deep in time, presenting itself as a radically current work. Contemporary craftsmanship at the very heart of tradition.