Ceramics Portfolio - Michal Ruprecht

ABOUT ME

My name is Michal Ruprecht. I am a ceramics student finishing my last year at the University of Michigan. I began my practice in 2022 and I aim to create pieces that examine the intricacies of nature.

I draw inspiration from the rich history of Michigan’s Great Lakes, human anatomy, trees, mushrooms, and yoga poses. I am fascinated by the binding problem of neurobiology: how our brain synthesizes conscious awareness through the integration of various stimuli. I am also interested in using art to communicate science and health issues.

I throw on the wheel and practice sculpting, coiling, and slab building. Find some of my favorite pieces below. I can be reached at me@michalruprecht.com.

PROTEINS

Fluoride (Fluc) channel
Science misinformation has rapidly spread throughout America, oftentimes fueled by social media, elected officials, and conspiracy theorists. All Americans — including the youth — are struggling to decipher real facts from fabricated lies. To put it simply, Americans have been let down by institutions that should have cared more. Thus, developing better methods of science communication is vital.

While preparing my undergraduate thesis, I created three ceramic sculptures of the fluoride (Fluc) channel, the membrane protein I studied with members of the Randy Stockbridge Lab. While most ion channels are composed of one main unit, Flucs have two. This feature is usually only found in membrane proteins that use energy to pump ions across the cell membrane. Flucs, however, do not use energy. Through this series, my goal was to communicate the protein’s unique structure to the general public.
  • X-ray crystal structure of the E. Coli Fluc channel (pdb:5A43). Various sizes, engobe.
  • Displayed in the office of Prof. Randy Stockbridge, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

NATURE

  • Mushroom log. Slab-built, glaze.
  • Tentacles ZE. Thrown, glaze. Displayed in a private home in Poland.
  • Barnacles BJ. Thrown, glaze. Displayed in a private home in Michigan.
  • Peanut (A. hypogaea). 7x4", engobe.
  • MCSPhamily. 6", coil-built, glaze. Displayed in the Michigan Community Scholars Program office, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
  • Electrical synapses. 6", coil-built, glaze.
  • Swimming in a lake. 6", coil-built, glaze.

ANATOMY

  • Esophagus LK. Coil-built, glaze. Displayed in a private home in Michigan.

OTHER

  • Bowl VZ. Thrown, glaze. Displayed in a private home in Florida.
  • Birkenstock. Slab-built, engobe.
  • Bowl ES. Thrown, glaze. Displayed in a private home in Poland.
  • Box. Slab-built, glaze.
  • Bowl KW. Thrown, glaze. Displayed in a private home in Poland.
  • Bowl ES. Thrown, glaze. Displayed in a private home in Poland.
  • Cup. Thrown, glaze.
  • Cup. Thrown, glaze.
  • Bowl. 6", coil-built, glaze.
  • Bowl. Thrown, glaze.
  • Bowl. Thrown, glaze.
  • Bowl AK. Thrown, glaze. Displayed in a private home in Poland.
  • Bowl. Thrown, glaze.
  • Bowl. Thrown, glaze.
  • Cup. Thrown, glaze.
  • Cup. Thrown, glaze.
  • Polka dot stones. 6", coil-built, glaze.
  • Cup. Thrown, glaze.
  • Cup. Thrown, glaze.
  • Bowl ZE. Thrown, glaze. Displayed in a private home in Poland.
  • Bowl. Thrown, glaze.
  • Cup. Thrown, glaze.
  • Cup. Thrown, glaze.