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…

Visual Dilution

Don’t you often have so many ideas and you don’t know where to start from and you end up lost. Speaking with Duncan about grouping of objects, looking at identity and how form is affected by space in relationship to each other.  Its about altering the physical space that they occupied and how that then forces us to see at these sets differently and how they identify at each other.

“Vitrines hold space as well as objects… They seem to still a part of the world and suspend activity, pause the movement that attends the life of things… Vitrines are part of what I do, not a frame for what I make.” – Edmund de Waal

Looking at the work of Susan Nemeth and Virginia Leonard and relationships between drawing/painting and three dimensional work has really got me motivated and having a tutorial with Pete has clarified some of my thought with some of my previous ideas.

I had this idea how could our train of though or our visual perception be diluted from one form to another. How much does a drawing dilute our perception of the object?

The premises of this idea plays a bit with the thought of how a drawing taken from one of these grouping be transformed onto another piece of work. Does scale matter? To which point forms start joining forms? Will surface be affected by drawing? How is space in relationship to the objects affected by this? I like the idea of having little conversations between drawing and sculpture and to which extent will my last piece be diluted from the original.

Really intrigued by the work Gordon Baldwin and relationship of drawing and sculpture

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“If there is a vessel there, you would imagine it”

 

Pippin Drysdale

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The landscape is the ever-constant lure, the catalyst for work, the connecting point and anchor for each new development.  

Pippin Drysdale – Website

Pippin Drysdale’s works is ambitious, it negotiates interweaving journeys through various landscapes describing her artistic practice and her engagement with the sites she documents. Through a continuing investigation of the flora and landforms of these unique areas of Australia and a commitment to engaging with the cultural, social and political agendas that are shaping them, she is open to embrace each new creative challenge.

One would be forgiven for thinking there would be a question of ownership, the work is accredited solely to Drysdale. But Palmateer is adamant the story and the work is Drysdale’s and that he is just a part of her journey to create the perfect pieces.

They are humble when they speak of their own abilities but full of praise for each other’s skills as masters of their field. They acknowledge that the sum of their skills is what creates such amazing art, Palmateer’s throwing skill and sense of form combined with Drysdale’s ability to combine colour and texture as she treats the surface of the vessel. Together they create something incredibly special.

Experimentation with Decorating Slips

Ive been looking at a range of artist lately, (Susan Nemeth, Virginia Leonard and the American clay expressionists) and I wanted to explore form. I had about two kilos of crank clay so decided to coil a jug out of my imagination, not really caring if the piece was ascetically pleasing in any shape or form.

Similarly but at the same time contrastingly, the work my Magdalene Odundo which is more concerned with shape and how straight and smooth the final burnished by hand
surfaces are. Her traditional methods used in sub-Saharan Africa production which is primarily made by women, and Odundo recognizes and reinforces this connection through her work’s anthropomorphic references to the female body. But her work also plays with traditional associations. For one, Odundo sees her works, unlike the utilitarian pots created by women, as containers of form and colour. By conceiving her objects not as vessels but as sculpture, traditionally seen as the purview of men, she blurs the boundaries between these gendered realms.

Wanting to explore decorating slips and sgraffito, I decided to go down to the glaze room and mix some slips. The actual recipe is really simple ( 50:50, Ball Clay to China Clay) with an addition of an oxide/stain between 5%-10% and is mixed in the same way as a glaze; however, only 50% of water in relation to dry ingredients is added and its sieved on a 60-80 hole mesh.

I added a thick coat of green slip first and secondly brushed a layer of black decorating slip, leaving the vessel to go leather hard, ready for carving.


I didn’t really think much about the design, I just went through a range of tools making linear marks from top to bottom to explore the possibilities of sgraffito. Just need to let it dry now, ready for bisque firing and glaze it with a clear glaze so the colours pop out. The surface qualities did remind me of the work of amazing and talented Peter Beard.

“The objective of my work is to produce beautiful objects that are modern, yet owe an allegiance to history, giving them a timeless quality.

Strong simple shapes are decorated with complex glaze surfaces to complement and excite the eye. Landscape in all forms is my main source of inspiration, along with the art of ancient Egypt. Combinations of shiny, matt and semi-matt glazes are built up in layers to create the textural surfaces during firing. Wax is used to isolate areas during glaze application”

Peter Beard – Website

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Also done another example, using a pinch bowl which i turned into a mug and has a orange decorating slip underneath the black, exploring marks around the cup. Just can’t wait to clear glaze them and see their vivid colours.

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Virginia Leonard – Relationship Between Painting and Ceramics

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Virginia Leonard – Website

 “Paint is laid on paint, mark is laid on mark. The subject becomes less important as the painting progresses. Often the sheer thickness of the paint, between the small valleys and crags of paint add to the paradox of realised space. Sometimes the subject is formed by the drama of colour – forms caught up in the method of paint laid upon paint. Often in the painting I invent visual ideas and images that are summoned up by the automatic gesture, where the marks have no specific reference purpose. It is a play of mind and imagination”

Virginia Leonard only came across ceramics just a few years ago and explores relationships between expressionist painting with ceramics. Her large, variously capped and colourful, layered vessels laced with resin, are strong and visceral objects that look as though they came together simply by instinct. Both seen on her painting and her clay viscosities, often mimicking organs, revealing something that we know of, but is unseen.

Virginia’s addition of resin looks fresh and offers tempting drips that beg to be touched by fingers, (to see if they’re as flexible as they appear) often seen in her painting but solutions to the curiosity aroused by additions of some decal images is added, although some links to the domestic via what has been the most widely used and imitated design for domestic tableware is tentatively there.

The American clay expression often intentionally looks poorly made. Led by artists such as Nicole Cherubini, Beverley Semmes and Arlene Sechet it is characterised by an irreverence for technique and messy, loose handling often typified by heavily fingered coiling and surfaces left spontaneous with supporting casually made plinths of plywood or reinforcing steel rod that can resemble workshop detritus but are a part of the work. Forms are influenced by traditional ceramic objects but also defy them by mocking domesticity using pot forms only as shapes rather than objects that are useful. Sometimes lustred all over and sometimes draped with junk jewellery or bedecked by small handles that could not possibly lift the vessel.

 

Jin Eui Kim Demonstration

This event, the first South Wales Potters event of 2016, took part at the Ceramics department of Cardiff Metropolitan University and this being a demonstration my Korean ceramicist Jin (Gin-and-Tonic) Eui Kim. I first came across his work and met him at Ceramics Art London 2015 and also at Made by Hand 2015, but this event was a great opportunity to see the artist at work where we could pick up little tips along the way and yes, he is a graduate from the MA course here in at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Currently working at Fireworks Clay Studios, so just next door, he done a presentation on exhibitions he had done and possible future ones as well as awards he has received which proves how renown he really is in this small community of ceramics. He also showed us current commissions his working on. Every thing he showed us is on his website. www.jineuikim.co.uk

His work is based on an investigation of the perception between illusion and reality, using colours, tonal changes, intervals in lines, shapes and forms. His pieces play with the viewers understanding of reality . The truth becomes more elusive with changes of light and distance.

Jin throws with LF clay, an earthenware fired to 1120°C and uses 18 shades of engobes to create mainly vessels and wall hanging pieces. He makes his own tools to create the profiles and uses calligraphy brushes with the tip cut off to paint on the lines. The third firing of a matt transparent glaze not only for protection but also it gives more depth to the tone of the lines.

At the seminar space 5 we gathered all around him to see him demonstrate on the making around the wheel and it was a great opportunity to pick up on tips and techniques. He started by turning a cylindrical jar with his own tools as well as the two sided lid. I’m saying sorry in advance before you watch both videos due to the angle of the video, specially coming from me which complains when someone films something vertically.

After turning, he went into throwing where he demonstrated how he throws both the cylindrical jar and the two sided lid. He then showed us how he throws his closed vessels and for our surprised they are thrown upside down, which to be fair makes more sense now.

He used a traditional Korean onggi paddle to show how he beats the clay to create the base for his huge wall-mounted pieces. He then attached a massive coil around the base then throwing it up creating the walls with the help of a Taekwondo belt which with its properties it holds enough water and is stiff enough to give even pressure on either sides of the lift, so I better look for my black belt as its gonna be my best solution to throw bigger pots.

Shape is where Jin has a bit more freedom on his creative practice and it is the painting of the concentric lines on the pots that his work is most famous for. Jin starts by soaking his bisque work on water to control the absorption so the engobes flow smother from the brush to the surface. He makes pencil lines which are numbered corresponding with his engobes.

He demonstrated a range of wedging techniques including this peculiar one called slab wedging.

He finally demonstrated how he throws bigger pieces using section which are then joined. And this should really useful as I am not particularly good at throwing bigger pieces. This technique involves throwing a cylinder and cutting sections off the initial cylinder then replacing and throwing them more when the initial cylinder has been thrown higher. He showed us how he used a hair from his head to check the angle of the joining rims.

It was great having Jin Eui Kim over at the studio as we have learn so much from him, even from the most simple of techniques and tips that he kindly shared with us. Amazing set of skills and really amazed by the sense of patience, sensibility this ceramicist has which I believe captivated us all. So thank you.

Tea for Two – Final Tea Set

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And our final tea set that me and the amazing Emily have constructed is finally complete. So, do I love it? Hate it? I really like the key concepts we touched upon and it was a great opportunity to be part of a team where equal parties contributed to the development of this set. We initially had two weeks to build the tea set and two weeks to work on the surface and glaze it, so being in a tight schedule made us rush a few aspects of our tea set especially the surface and how it could of been much more developed exploring patterns and textures, bringing a bit more from Anne Gibbs workshop’s skills as well as looking more into imagery that could reflect Emily more. When we finished our tea set, we got to know  that our deadline got extended to the end of the term, which could of been a great opportunity to explore those technique and glaze testing; however, having short deadlines is great in a way to make us think outside of the box, having solutions to problems and finding ways around things.

Opening the kiln is always a surprise,we always expect one thing (sometimes this, too good of an object to be true – a gem of a piece) and you will get a few pieces that are alright, and some that are just completely atrocious (some of which we learn to love). During the glazing process we wanted to add a black glaze to the inside of some of our vessels (adding 10% black oxide to a clear earthenware glaze – stupidly without any tests before hand) and as you see by the pictures the horrendous  burnt caramel graze. But compared with our mug that has a massive crack around the base, which lefts us heart broken when we found out by pouring some lovely mango infusion tea in it and it just leaked.

Luckily we had a spare mug, so I am still joining the rest of the group on the tea party at the end of the term.

Overall, really enjoyed working on this project, Tea for Two. Let’s say group work is not my favourite thing in the whole world, but it really depends on the people we work with, and Emily was a great partner in crime. Of course there is always ups and downs with loads of compromise but its always helpful when we are stuck on something and there is someone to support our ideas and help us develop them together. I feel that over this project, I got to know a bit more about Emily through our conversations and now that we have our tea set we can always have a cup of tea and keep our conversations going learning about each other.

And now, that this project is over or in other words concluded, how can I develop or look into some keys aspects of our research into developing it even further which I could possibly carry it into our Field project, There’s many a slip.