• Matthew Ward

    Matthew Ward

    Brooklyn, NY

    Building on his background in painting and sculpting, ceramicist Matthew Ward takes inspiration from the constant creative energy of his home base, Brooklyn. Self-described as "equal parts painter and surgeon," his aesthetic is simple and often symmetrical, yet filled with textures and incised grooves. Just for us, he created a unique pottery collection while working with Chulucanas potters in Peru, blending ancient techniques with Modern styles.


    “I am most attracted to simplified and relatable forms.”


    See more of his work at matthewwardstudio.com.

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    Matthew Ward Chulucanas Vases
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Matthew Ward Collaboration

At west elm, we know that you love adorning your home with stunning pieces that tell a story. Through our artist collaborations, we extend the reach of artisans across the globe while empowering them to grow the local economy and have a positive impact on surrounding communities. This time, we’ve created the Matthew Ward Collaboration to offer simplified and relatable decor to brighten up your existing design or to serve as the backdrop for a complete redesign. With each product purchase from this collaboration, you can rest easy knowing that you helped an artisan in Peru.

With years of experience in painting and sculpting, ceramicist Ward takes inspiration from the never-ending creative energy of his home base of Brooklyn. He describes himself as equal parts painter and surgeon resulting in a simple aesthetic that is often symmetrical. While his works are frequently uniform, they are also filled with texture and incised grooves to add dimension and depth. Through our collaboration, he has created a unique pottery collection designed exclusively for us. To create this stunning collection, Ward worked with Peruvian artisans to create striking Chulucanas vases that blend ancient techniques with modern styles.

These exquisite vases are handcrafted by Peruvian artisans from the arid Piura region who turn local clay into beautiful standing Chulucanas vases. The process used by these artisans dates back 2,000 years and was used by their ancestors to create pottery for everyday life. Ward used his modernist art history to add a contemporary twist to this centuries-old ceramics tradition. Made of earthenware, these vases are inspired by the natural environment and add an exquisite natural touch to any home whether you live in the mountains or the concrete jungle.

To create these vases, local clay must be turned, painted and waxed by hand. This collaboration is all about preserving traditional craft and technique while providing employment and opportunity for artisans. By bringing you beautiful statement pieces to adorn your home, we also make long-term commitments to our artisan partners, to help them invest in their businesses and in their communities. With the help of Ward, this collaboration has enabled the Chulucanas ceramicists to invest in electric pottery wheels to speed production and simplify the creation process. What you’ll love about this collaboration is that each product has an intricate story to tell. Share the ancient roots of each vase and the local craftsmanship behind each piece with friends and family who enjoy your home for an evening of cultural entertainment.

These vases make stunning decorative objects and can be used to adorn your mantle or add decorative style to your dining table. Featuring intricate shapes, these vases add dimension to console tables or nightstands. The three-tier bulb looks particularly stunning on small, round dining tables while the small tripod leg vase adds delicate detail to bathroom countertops. Pair the small tripod with a large tripod leg vase to add vertical depth or go big with a jug that serves as the center of attention in any room. The understated black and white colors on these vases make them easy additions to neutral decor or to ground more vibrant decor throughout the room. Keep your vase looking brand new by wiping clean with damp cloth.

Chulucanas vases look gorgeous as stand-alone decor or when paired with botanicals. It’s important to note that if you intend to use these vases with botanicals, you should ensure they are artificial because these vases are not water safe. Opt for artificial lavender to add a touch of spring to your home or choose highland poppies to play off the region where these vases originate. Each one is sold individually so you can mix and match different styles to create a look you love.