Subject PDP

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Yeahp, can’t believe the end of this academic year is just around the corner. Basically, 1/3 of my degree is done and it just flown by; however, I feel I have accomplished so much in terms of skills, context and ideas and essentially my developed as an artist has grown.

Starting the first term we were bombarded with a load of information and introduced to a rigorous and immersive experience in a diverse spectrum of ceramic techniques, process and materials. From the potter’s wheel, hand building processes, plaster forming techniques as well as exploring clay and glaze. Not only these workshops were helpful, but also the alchemy Wednesdays with Duncan were essential to further understand materials and ways they affect one another. I would love to continue to have these session as I find them really helpful to acknowledge material that we use everyday in our practice. I find it completely daunting how a chemical is affected by other chemicals, in glazes, clay bodies, how its differentiates with different temperatures and kiln atmospheres. In addition to the workshops, we had a series of lectures, such as Techie Tuesdays and Into the Fold which were an insight to a wider context in ceramics.

Our Subject project, ‘There’s many a slip’ was basically  a challenge to produce cups utilizing and innovating within the processes we were exposed to demonstrate skill and creative innovation. Throughout the first term we received a wide spectrum of induction on ceramic materials processes and techniques all based around the themes and values of the cup for in which we were encouraged to consider the aesthetic, functional and ergonomic components. I found this an amazing opportunity especially to explore techniques and material and to be challenged from the start to bring innovation and to demonstrate and project my identity as a maker mediated through my experimentation, research and ambition.

I began this project by carefully considering the term beauty. What makes something beautiful? What do we perceive something to be beautiful? Does functionality come to a cost to that? So exploring these ideas, made me experiment with form and colour, which was interesting and all, but when attending some of my Constellation lectures such as, Image World, Invisible Cities, and studying semiotics and affordances has allowed me to contextualize my practice and further develop my practical work. In addition, my Field project, ‘Tea for Two’ has ignited some ideas surrounding identity and perception which I have recently been exploiting more. As a consequence, I have been looking at how we perceive visual culture, language and objects and ways they can be interpreted depended on many factors and its relationships. I would love to develop these ideas further, going into my second year of my degree by exploring relationships between 2D and 3D and how entwined they are. Is is about essence? How is functionality of the object affected by perception and interpretation?

Assuredly, a really succesful academic year on how I refined as an art student, by grabbing all the opportunities thrown at me, from exhibitions at the Craft in the Bay and Ikea to amazing and immersive workshops learing about materials and ceramic techniques. Not only was I able to research ceramic based techniques but also exploring other departments, which essentially profounds my experience at CSAD. I was also completely surprised how much Field and Constellation has affected the way I think, view and practice my work in Subject and can’t wait for what is to come next academic year.

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Field PDP

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Starting the second term of this academic year, we were introduced to the Field module, which was divided into separate parts, a cross-school collaboration concerned and themed around ‘Future Generations’ and an internal collaboration within Subject called ‘Tea for Two’ in which potentially could be an opportunity to be an individual response and further developed within Ceramics. The brief was to create a body of work, developed through evidenced collaboration in our own subject area and also across other disciplines, to further refined our personal responses. The purpose of the work was to explore and communicate ideas and concepts within the overall theme ‘Future Generations’.

We had a two-day conference  in which, day one we had the option to pick two lectures around the topic ‘Future Generations’, in which I picked both, ‘Into the Woods: Away From Screens’ and ‘Designing Sustainable Relationships with Future Generations through Objects’. Day two, we had the option of another two practical workshops exploring these themes and the challenges and delights of collaboration, in which I ended up picking both ‘Divining the future through masks and rituals’ and ‘Making a pop-up exhibition: Unloved’. Both days were really compressed and didn’t really know what to think of it; however, throughout the year I manage to pick up some key ideas presented and incorporate it in my Subject.

Additionally , we had two weeks with interdisciplinary staff from across School, working in interdisciplinary student groups. We explored collaborative methods and processes to invite and stimulate personal development by creating a video and a pitch for a crowdfunded project. In our collaborative teams we brainstormed ideas regarding the themes of Future Generations, identifying our own values and our skill set which was important to ensure we have a team well equipped to meet the challenge both creatively, and technically. At first I wasn’t too excited about this project as group work, lets say, is not my favourite thing; however, it ended up being an amazing project as I learned so much with the rest of the group and potentially can see what kickstarter can provide to artists.

Finally, the internal collaboration within Subject had an objective for us to research, explore and achieve common internal collaborative goals of interest, arrived from inspired interests ignited at the Future Generations conference. Just the project title, ‘Tea for Two’ alone, seemed pretty exciting to work on and then knowing I was working with Emily was great as our ideas connected beautifully, kinda. Our project was concerned around the ideas of identity and preferences in which we came up with a tea set for us two. Since that my own work has developed around those ideas surrounding perception and identity.

Let’s say this module had its ups and downs; however, I would rather concentrate on the highlights of this module. John Cleese (1991) said, “I always find that if two or more of us throw ideas backwards and forwards at each other, I get to more interesting and original places than I could ever have got to on my own.” It’s always great having someone there, especially in the beginning of a project to throw ideas at you, and then you can further develop those.

Having just received the list of the Level 5 Field Projects, I feel a bit daunted especially thinking that it will take a massive chunk of the year and potentially chance the way I view and interpret my work. Really exciting options from, South Korea, work experience, road trips, figurative modelling, outlining a business plan and looking into being a Doctor, all in which I need to pick in just a few days. Options, options, options…

There’s many a slip – Final Outcome

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I wouldn’t really say this is my final outcome for Subject alone, but more like a resolution of ideas  and research from Subject, Field and Constellation which  fed key points into me concluding with this set of pieces. Of course there are some clear aspects I would change; however, I believe these ideas has only been a trigger for something bigger in which I would love to explore and develop throughout my degree. These pieces evidentiate how much I explored throughout my first academic year by playing around with materials and ceramics techniques, by grabbing all opportunities thrown at me and attending lecture in ways to contextualize my practice.

Resuming Ideas

After all my intense research and ideas and exploration of materials and processes, I wanted to produce a final outcome that could resume those ideas; however, could still have its doors open to further be developed in the next academic year.

I have been looking at ideas around perception and how we view the world around us, especially visual culture and how the individual might interpret it. Playing around with ideas of beauty and functionality and how they impact each other has been a major concern of mine.

I began this project by looking in charity shops for objects that perhaps ideas could develop and managed to find this little gem. I decided to look at a single object as a way of visually creating a series of objects that could explore the ideas I was trying to convey.

I initially explored these ideas by drawing what I like to call ‘visual dilution’, by keeping the essence of design and removing what perhaps might be deemed as not necessary. But to what extent does functionality rely on beauty? Do these objects need to be functional? just because it has an apparent affordance does that turn it functional? At this point, I still think I have more questions than answers; however, i think the progress I am doing is heading on the right direction and could potentially be developed even further throughout my degree. An object might have multiple purposes or even no purpose at all, and its up to who interacts with the object to perceive its affordances and its uses, something that both J. Gibson (1979) and D. Norman (1988) have research around the ideas of afforadnces, something that I explored on my Constellation essay. In contrast Bauhaus goes to argue that form should always reflect and enhance function, utility comes first. Which in my opinion might be put in debate as not everything we do really need a functional purpose.

On the making of these pieces I gradually incremented each single one differently, solely dependent on the previous piece, as if the last one was the original piece, the most authentic. Some ideas were connected to the keynote lecture ‘ The Image World’ by Jonathan Clarkson. The way images are made and used are changing and the changes not only affect the way we understand art and other forms of imagery that are being made now, but they affect all the imagery that has ever been made, because all gets plod through these technology on its way towards us, so images are endlessly modified and perceived in new contexts. Bellow, you can see the gradual modification and perception each single object has.

I wanted to play around with the surface in a similar way by using both decals and gold lustre to illustrate my ideas starting with my initial found object. By using negative space, interpretation of drawing and painting from 2D to 3D and vice versa.

Kiln is firing now, so need to wait two more days for these gems to come out. Can’t wait.

Tools

We were made aware by Duncan the importance of designing and customizing our own tools according to our own practice. Its great having store-bought tools which does the job, however sometimes they come to a price and often we just need a specific tool to deal with that particular job. Often tools can be produced cheaply and with the great wood and metal workshops facilities at CSAD these can be produced in no time. Well that’s if you’re not called Spencer or Jaejun Lee which their tools personifies and embodies their own work, and in a way their tools are a work of art.

We were taken around the wood department by Duncan to see some basic wood tools being produced plus health and safety precautions and the importance and properties of different wood types.

It was amazing how a few simple cuts and a bit of sanding created a good quality tool in which Duncan skillfully used to throw a few pots.

A few weeks later we had the opportunity to have inductions on both wood and metal workshops and I feel confident to go at the start of next year and produce a few depending of my needs. However, will probably only spend a day in that metal workshops, as its apparent that everything in there can kill you, but with all the health and safety precautions I should still have all my fingers by the end of my degree.

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Managed to produce this bad boy on my first time at the workshop which I was quit pleased with. Could do with a few improvements but not bad for my first time. Could see potentially producing a set of these as usually they are so expensive and I could produce it to my desired size and shape.

Exploring Surface Decoration

When it comes to decorate and work on the surface of my work, the possibilities are endless and often I don’t know where to start from. Sgraffito, stamps, inlay, slip decoration, oxides, glaze, decals, lustre and not only that but different kiln atmospheres affect the surface in a range of ways. This year I have been exploring a range of techniques and learing how to mix glazes and slips, however, I find it quite hard to contextualize my glazes with my work, often I rather work with slips and decals in a more illustrative way of decorating my work as it’s a more reliable way to get what you want to achieve, but perhaps this could be changed coming to next year by further researching glazes.

This year I learned the importance of recording your results and recipes on a book to keep track of what is happening with glazes and keep improving them.

Yes, because at the beginning of this year I didn’t have many successful outcomes but I persisted in improving and retrying and re-testing my  glazes and managed to fire a few kilns on my own until I got some nice glazes and even manage to grow some crystals on a crystalline glaze by Kate Malone.

I also worked on the surface other than using just glaze. For example the workshop with Anne Gibbs using mono printing techniques, plus workshops with Matt and Caroline using slips, sgraffito and decals, the possibilities are just endless and you can see how immersive you can get studying ceramics.

Telmo Pieper

Like many children, dutch artist Telmo Pieper drew imaginative, colourful, creative and not always so anatomically correct creatures and characters when he was 4. For ‘kiddie arts’, Pieper has reincarnated the drawn works from his childhood as digital paintings, materializing them as realistic figures in intricate detail, vibrant hues and with computerized graphics. The result illustrates the quirky line scribbles as lifelike underwater animals, insects and architecture, each a bit awry in their structural and biological precision. The charming and humorous sense of innocence and fantasy is maintained, making for a series of strangely proportioned aquatic life, big headed bugs and absurdly shaped cars. Take a look below at ‘haai’, the shark that looks more like an anchovy, the butterfly ‘vlinder’, whose face is a giant black blob and ‘slak’ the snail whose tiny shell barely fits on his body.

Telmo Pieper – Website