Peter Speliopoulos is a multidisciplinary artist with abilities built upon his background as a fashion designer, creative director, and costume designer for opera and dance. In 2011 during a Greek holiday Speliopoulos, who was already a collector of antique and contemporary ceramics, began his journey into this craft through lessons with local potter and friend, Ritsa Eliou. Since then, he’s discovered a natural affinity with clay and a newfound passion.
Speliopoulos acquired and restored a house on the Greek island of Patmos in the early 2000’s. This allowed him to live and grow with much of the folk art he admired for years. This connection and influence can be seen in his work through his desire to convey a balance between the primitive and contemporary.
A unique island in the Dodecanese, Patmos has seen many cultural influences over the years. Once home to wealthy sea captains of the 18th and 19th centuries, it was also at the center of the crossroads for trade routes in Egypt, Turkey and the Levant. Because of this, homes along the Mediterranean shore for centuries have been decorated with layers of eclectic textiles, ceramics and furniture collected from across the globe. Treasures from local Greek islands sit alongside these belongings, showcasing strong traditions in embroidery, weaving and clay. Collections of pieces new and old are stitched together, layering ancient cultures to create global connections.
Embedded within the cloths are inherited family traditions, cultural superstitions, the status of dowries presented and passed down, personal histories…Peter Speliopolous
During his time spent in Patmos and his basement studio in New York, Speliopoulos has continued to further his abilities. Encased in every motion, brush stroke, and texture are the experiences of others throughout history that have come to fruition through his sensibilities. Many of his antiquity-inspired ceramics are layered with a distinct tactile nature, reminiscent of traditional basket-weaving techniques. Intentional or not, it is easy to see how his roots formed in Greece and his passion for artwork around the globe have culminated to create the expressive ceramics that enchant all who encounter them.