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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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

The act of Compulsive Looking

We live in a world where people daily take numerous pictures and selfies just about anywhere and of anything. It is an act that photography critic Jörg M. Colberg describes as “compulsive looking.” The act of photographing, the gesture, has become part of our interaction with the world. We view the world not directly through our eyes anymore, but through a lens. The phenomenon has created a unique set of challenges for art museums. While some museums, galleries and heritage sites have unrestricted photography policies for non-commercial use, many others continue to restrict visitors from taking photos of objects and artworks, often citing conservation and copyright arguments. But aren’t restricted photography policies outdated in this age of social media and mobile-phone cameras? Or do museums have a responsibility to protect intellectual property agreements by prohibiting all photography? Because of the overwhelming demand of the public to take pictures of artworks most museums allow it. People want to capsulate their visit and have a reminder of their favorite piece of art they saw. The positive side to this development for museums is an enormous amount of free publicity, for the pictures will spread across every social network available.

Some museums, like The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, had to restrict visitors from taking photos again after having received much criticism. It was nearly impossible to have an uninterupted moment with the iconic Sunflowers. The painting was completely taken over by people who wanted to take selfies. People couldn’t enjoy or experience the painting anymore. Tacking  the Mona Lisa in the Louvre in Paris as an example, people struggle to get to the front of the line, not to look at the painting, but to take a picture. Is this the way we want to enjoy a visit to our favorite museum? Should we go back to restrictions and learn to view a painting again with our eyes and not through a lens? Or do you think this is a sign of the times and selfies and camera’s in museums are here to stay?

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A ban on pencils… the V&A now forbids sketching in its temporary exhibitions. Photograph: Oliver Wainwright/Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/apr/22/va-museum-no-sketching-signs-draconian

We live in a world where an image, a selfie, a proof of “i was there” is more important than aknowledge all the art we are surrounded by (in museums, our cities, streets…). The problem is that we see but we don’t watch. We go to a museum and ptotograph it top to bottom but we don’t know what we have photographed.