One of Noël Morical’s pipes, a peanut. Photo by David C Sampson, styled by Mary Elanor Wallace of Tusk Chicago. Images courtesy of the artist
Your basic pipe is a relatively simple object, little more than a bowl, a carb for clearing the bowl chamber, and a mouthpiece. And then there are the pipes artist Noël Morical makes: cuisine kitsch porcelain pieces. Morical's pipes take the form of pretzels, peaches, and peanuts. Tagged #snackhappy on her Instagram account, her sunny-side up egg, croissant, and strawberry, could be inhaled for breakfast.
Morical asked herself, “What kind of devices would I personally be interested in? And as a connoisseur of snacking it sort of just clicked, where 'I should make something that resembles food.'”
Customers can DM Morical and request their favorite foodstuffs. Self-taught in ceramics, Morical uses the commissions as both exercises and a chance to flex her creativity. “It's nice to look at something and be like, 'huh … I can probably make this by hand,'” Morical says.
All of the pieces begin with a lump of porcelain clay that is shaped by hand. “I start pinching off bits until I kind of get a rough shape,” Morical says. “And then there is just a lot of smoothing. I take my hands and just work it until the shape is perfect and it can sit on its own.”
Once the pipes have been shaped, Morical glazes them in food-safe glazes before firing them. The #snackhappy pipes provide an intimacy most art objects lack—you breathe them into your lungs!
One client, deathly allergic to peanuts, requested his bowl be one of the dreaded legumes, a humorous way to interact with his allergen. “I'm into that!” Morical says. “Maybe that opens up this whole other spectrum of people, where it's like, what are you allergic to? Let me know!”