Summative Powerpoint

Slide1

  1. SKILL I have significantly developed my throwing skills and now feel much more confident on the wheel.
    IDEA
    I enjoy the process but rather than seeing it as a means to an end, I see it as the start of a process of construction.

Slide2

  1. CONTEXT I feel inspired by the work of Gordon Baldwin I saw at COCA York as well as Carnia Ciscato at Collect ’17 who hand-build with thrown forms. Unlike slabs the clay holds some of the energy and motion of the wheel and has a springiness and tension to the touch.
    IDEA I’m interested in the idea of a piece showing traces of how it was made.

Slide3

  1. IDEA Idea of trace and memory was important in café society project. I wanted to create mugs for a café that would be a piece of home in Cardiff for when I felt homesick and missed the wild, rural landscape of North Wales. I hope to saggar fire them with combustibles from home so the surface holds a physical trace of the landscape. I focused on throwing a particular shape – a mug I remembered from home, but when I found a picture of it afterwards I realised my memory of the object was different to reality. How reliable are our memories?

Slide4

  1. IDEA This idea of the unreliability of our senses was further explored in Constellation – New materialisms. We drew an object from touch then from sight and it made me think about what I think I know as opposed to what I actually know. How does our memory influence how we interpret the present?

Slide5

  1. SKILL/CONTEXT I enjoyed the screenprinting field lab where we learnt about colour theory and played with the placing of colour. I’d already been interested in learning how to make coloured slips and thinking of the clay more as a canvas for painting on but the field project inspired me to work more in colour, especially for the pop art oil lamps.

Slide6

  1. SKILL Influenced by the paper stencils we used in the field screen printing I learnt how to use the laser cutter to cut my own paper stencils for the pop art project, with crisp sharp lines to suggest advertising graphics and mass production. Also with these oil lamps I began exploring the idea of building with thrown forms, and discovered the difficulty of controlled drying.

Slide7

  1. IDEA Realised with this technique that I was interested in the theme of balance. It’s something I have explored a bit in the past, exploring how the body balances on my foundation course.
    CONTEXT I came across Lisa Krigel’s stacking forms at Made in Roath and became interested in the compositions of balancing dirty dishes in the kitchen.
    CONTEXT My constellation essay examines the philosophy of balance in relation to eastern philosophy and the ceramics of Bernard leach, looking at balance creates harmony in art as well as everyday life

Slide8

  1. CONTEXT After coming back from France and playing games around the dinner table I wanted the centrepiece to be interactive or a kind of game. However, I was much more interested in taking a process driven rather than schematic approach, so worked through playing with the clay.

CONTEXT Wouter dam inspired forms.  Slide9

SKILL Going back to the idea of trace, I like work that shows signs of how it has been fired as well and am drawn to more experimental firing techniques such as raku and the pit firings we did with Mick and over Easter. I like the firing being an experience in itself not just something that has to happen. Reading about mindfulness and Eastern Philosophy has made me not want to think of any part of my making process as a means to an end, but as an experience to be enjoyed of itself.

Summative powepoint

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L4 Subject Summative PDP

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Things can be otherwise – I’m a bucket becoming a fire

I feel this year I’ve focused (although not as much as I could have) on improving my throwing skills. It’s a process I enjoy, but rather than viewing it as a means to an end, I see it as more as a starting point for the process of construction, much like artists Wouter Dam, Carina Ciscato and Walter Keeler.

I began the first project ‘Many a Slip’ trying to repeat throw a particular form – that of a distinctively shaped mug I remembered from home. I discovered though, when I found a picture of the actual mug, that my memory of the object was distorted, a caricature of a mug. This made me think of how unreliable memory is and blind drawing exercises in the New Materialisms Constellation study group explored these ideas of how we perceive with our senses further. This idea of memory and trace fed into the ‘Cafe Society’ project. My cafe was to be a piece of home in Cardiff, somewhere I could go to escape the busy city and feel I was back in the wild, mountainous landscape of North Wales. The layout of the place would be similar to my favourite coffee shop in Dolgellau – T.H.Roberts, the old ironmongers, the top floor kitted out with second hand sofas, and they would serve the local speciality – Popty’r Dre’s honey buns.

I made a series of my ‘home’ mugs which I hope to saggar fire tomorrow with combustibles sourced from the Dolgellau area – seaweed and shells from Barmouth beach and sheep wool and lichen from the farmers fields on the foot of Cader Idris. I want the surfaces of the mugs to show a physical trace of my home. The project has made me think of the things I take for granted and how your memory of a place can change when you move away and grow older. It makes me think of Malcolm Pryce’s Aberystwyth Noir novel series – about an alternative underworld Aberystwyth which he only began to write about when he moved away from the place.

With the handbuilding of thrown forms I find myself returning to the theme of balance, which happened to be what I wrote my final Constellation essay about. I find my making process if becoming more and more process driven rather than schematic and pre-planned. I find I like to play with the material and discover ways sections want to fit together harmoniously and naturally rather than trying to bring a drawing or plan into being. This thinking has definitely been influenced by learning about ideas of the agency of materials in Constellation. I feel as a result though that I’ve abandoned research a bit and work in sketchbooks less than I used to.

I noticed this change of thinking most when I came to the final ‘Centrepiece’ project and originally wanted to make an interactive piece or a game, but realised I didn’t want to work to a plan. It’s also becoming more and more important to me that what I make shows a trace of how it’s been made. This is why I like the flow of throwing lines and marks where the fire has licked the clay in kilns that aren’t electric fired. I hope to move away from the standard oxidation electric kiln firings next year. I’d especially to learn how to use the gas kilns for reduction firings and look more in depth at alternative firing methods like raku, saggar and wood firing. I liked the unexpected, uneven results and surface textures you get this way, like the ones on my final centrepiece.

Looking through my blog I feel it would help to post a summary of my developing ideas at the end of each week next year so I can see a more clear progression. Also I’d like to upload films of myself working so I can more dynamically document the skills and techniques I’m learning.

 

 

Pre-Reflexive thought

We began our subject field with an exercise in creative strategies. Our first task was the explore the act of interacting, attempting to capture the sense-scape of CSAD building. We spent 20 mins collecting the following:

5 sounds: The automated female voice of the lift, the rhythmic tapping of a person running up and down stairs, the deep muffled tone of a voice through a huge paper cone in the fine art department, the soft tinkling of running tap water and the eerie muffled echoes that filter through to the top of the flight of stairs.

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Impression

5 movements: The sliding open and closed of the automatic doors, the effect this movement causes on a piece of thread hanging off Carwyn Evans’s installation ‘Pader’ in the foyer, the wave-like movement of captured rainwater on the bench outside, the  rustling of a plant being shaken, the rotating motion of an empty drinks can being spun.

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Impression: a difference made by the action/presence of someone/something

5 impressions: Dents and creases left on the sofas downstairs where people have sat, fingerprints leaving a greasy film on the doors of the lift, paint marking a table, shadows casting letters on the bench outside, the messy marks left on the blackboard where writing has been rubbed away.

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Transition of light and shade

5 points of transition: The threshold where outside becomes inside, the change of the position of shadows throughout the day-transition of light and shade, the change of texture from carpeted to hard floor in the reception area, the kilns- irreversible chemical transformation of clay to ceramic, the heart space- a place where conversations with others can lead to a development of ideas.

Next we were challenged to test out ways in which drawing (an interaction between one thing and another) leaves evidence of that interaction behind and what that tells us about ‘something’. We decided to go downstairs to the forecourt of the building where we had spent lots of time gathering inspiration for the previous task. Here the movement of the automatic doors acted as an interface between outside and inside. As a way to document sounds other than on a phone, Jasper had been drawing continuous lines of how the sounds around the building felt. We decided to follow on from this idea by tracking the lines made by people as they leave and enter the CSAD building, by using coloured chalk to draw around Jasper and Lucy’s feet as they walked.

Next they each tried to walk ‘in the other’s footsteps’. This made me think of the Chartism project ‘In their footsteps’ I’ve been involved with and the shoes we made. Shoes hold many interesting connotations as do footprints: ones made by a shoe are evocative of detective mysteries and yet footprints in sand are considered romantic.

We filmed these walks then thought more about the way we all enter and leave the building and the lines of movement we repeat every day. We considered too of the way lines of footprints could be mapped out as people go to use the smoking area, moving to the outskirts of the forecourt. It would be possible to record how long people stood for by drawing consecutive lines around feet in different colours to signal the passing of time. This could result in a map of lines showing the interaction of students and staff with their environment over time. What patterns of behaviour would this reveal?

We noticed that walking in someone else’s footsteps was awkward – often they were too big or small which resulted in a disjointed, silly style of walking, a bit like a Monty Python sketch. Thinking of the imaginative ways our body could interact with the environment as we entered the building, we drew a sort of hopscotch in chalk leading towards the entrance. Wouldn’t it be much more fun to hopscotch into college every morning?

Next we planned to draw as we moved through the building, creating a kind of map of our experience as we moved through the environment. Instead, because we had so little time and were interested to use the large sheets of tracing paper, Phoebe suggested pressing the paper against each other’s faces and drawing portraits though it. This was fun to do and when laid on top of one another the images became ghostly collages of faces that remind me of the Turin shroud. To get better definition we’d like to photograph these faces with a lightbox underneath. They might speak of the transition of time and the way our faces change as we age. The tracing paper acts as an interface between the one being drawn and the one drawing. As well as being drawn the person is also in a way being drawn ‘on’.

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Layered drawings on tracing paper