Memor is a collection of iconic mosaic vases that during the past month went viral on Instagram.
Each piece of the series incorporates shells and ceramic discards: lucite remnants, Czech beads, carved brass from Ghana, a vintage belt buckle from Belgium. These are just some of the objects that find their way into artist Maxine Midtbo’s ceramic vessels, which she makes under the brand Memor from her studio in Cincinnati, Ohio
Though Midtbo’s background is in sculpture — she first learned about traditional methods of working with clay on an artist residency in Jingdezgen, China, in 2013 — her practice is more related to mosaic arts like Pique Assiette. Unlike tiling and mosaic, though, her style is loose and imperfect — and, as such, perfect Instagram fodder.
“What I enjoy most about Memor is the people it connects me with, people all over the world and in my own community.”Midtbo
Inspired by memory jugs from American folk art, Midtbo presses pieces of broken glass or ceramics, shells, stones, or fossils into her vase-shaped vessels. “The objects come from estate sales and auctions as well as thrift stores, reuse, and recycling centers, or my own personal collection,” she says. Memor is inspired by Midtbo’s upbringing traveling the world with her family, in particular her mother, whose sharp eye made her an amazing antiques collector.
From a young age, Midtbo would accompany her mother to auctions, estate sales, and flea markets and soak up her knowledge and passion for remnants and collectibles.