Finding my voice…

A short project to explore the journals’ archive in library (or online), find our own voice and in which published journal it might be most fitting.


Being subscribed to a few ceramic journals and magazines, and generally looking through all the other ones on regular basis, I wanted to take this opportunity further and find more publications that would relate to my work better; better than our standard, static and very much craft oriented ceramic publications.

Although, the ‘Ceramics Subject Guide’ is very good and comprehensive overview on the subject specific resources the library can provide, ceramics is not only about Ceramic Review, craft, and pottery.
Therefore, I wanted to look beyond that and find something more helpful, exciting and fitting for my practice. The ‘Fine Art Subject Guide’ was an excellent place to start and gather more broad journals within the art subject. Apollo, Turps Banana or Tate Etc. and Raw Vision provided much better inspiration within sculpture, painting, performance and curation. Some of them featured artists working predominantly with clay or similar ideas to me of abstraction and nature, but even providing articles on specifically ceramic subject, such as “The Potter’s Progress” article in Apollo presenting the significant role of studio pottery in the development of modern art in Britain.

However, the best discovery was accidental. While searching for the journal “Bomb” listed in the Fine Art Guide I stumble across the beautiful publication “Bloom – a horti-cultural view”. Created in 1998 and published twice a year, it explores trends in areas such as fashion, design, photography or food relating to horticulture and nature itself. It is a very unusual publication, but one that large number of people could relate to from students, professionals in art, craft, design, to retail or just a passersby enchanted by the visual delights of the magazine.
It is visually rich with minimal text and no advertisement to distract the viewer from the experience. It covers traditional themes behind nature-inspired craft or design to more intriguing photographs and art exploring and experimenting with ideas relating to or somehow deriving from natural world.

Ceramics and craft is always included, same as art, exploring ideas and intricacies from natural world, often through abstract work rather than plain representation.

 

Another mention would be our local CCQ which I’m subscribed to and would love to find myself one day. Culture Colony Quarterly “focus is on the contemporary arts and their many contexts, particularly international practice and projects”, but puts same importance to the local scene. Therefore I can find beautiful visual content same as in depth writing on international events I visited such as the Venice Biennial, but also another look at ” stiwdio/lle studio/place” exhibition at the Bay Art Gallery in Cardiff or interview with Lone Taxidermist whose music performance we are going to experience at Arnolfini in Bristol and “[in] cracked reflection of Grayson Perry’s acclaimed exhibition, we’re raiding Arnolfini with our loved-fueled provocative party for the outsiders.”

 

 

 

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Rock making

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Hands on volunteering, helping create papier-mâché and UV reactive rocks for Jennifer Taylor’s twilight sci-fi landscape used for her theatrical performances.


Replying to alluring email from G39 about volunteering opportunity, Morgan and I appeared in a fun and dynamic workshops creating masses of light rocks using cardboard, bubble-wrap and covering them with PVA and tissue paper. These were then covered in carpet glue so that the Daz washing powder would stick on them making them reactive to the UV light as part of multimedia ‘Silent Beach’ exhibition and performance.

 

We’ve soon been allocated to help with covering a large wooden skeleton with chicken wire and stuffing it with some waste paper so to create the base for small grotto, or large hollowed rock for performers to emerge from.


This encounter was so good not just by discovering the work of Jennifer Taylor who is essentially being birthed by inorganic rocks, basically rendering them alive, but by sculpting a landscape using completely different materials and techniques than I would use normally.
I realised how extremely important it is not to be stuck in clay when exploring ideas and philosophies, that are not just about the material.
In some cases I could scale up and explore ideas without extreme effort and time spend nurturing the clay; incorporating other materials in final installation as a narrative support for objects in clay. Performance could also be an important aspect in activating the installation and objects within, rendering them more alive, or dead.

Summer Project presentation and Manifesto

Presenting summer research, and Manifesto which should lead my work through the last year of BA.


 

We were fortunate enough to visit the Venice Biennale and see the art of the world. It was an exciting opportunity to learn and critically compare my own work. I could see many shared interest and I could position myself within the sculptural/installation type of work.
The French pavilion (by Xavier Veilhan) was fun, exploring the recording/artist studio and live architecture as a sculpture. Teamwork and desire for collaboration was one of the main pillars. This was highlighted by inviting over 100 different musicians to bring the pavilion to life using the instruments, some of them part of the building, which itself was inspired by additive and intuitive modes of construction.

The British Pavilion (by Phyllida Barlow) was my favourite with explosion of monumentally vast objects challenging preconceived ideas of sculpture. Domineering, bulging, they take over the space where the visitor has to pick their own way around and through a sculptural labyrinth.
However, the still have a distinctive human presence evident in their creation, with simple grey colour reminiscent of modern human built, offset with everyday bright colours.

Japanese Pavilion (by Takahiro Iwasaki) was great fusion of disorder that still embodies a sense of principle that is reminiscent in the nature, with his craft-like work that traverses the worlds of the micro and macro.

I shared the most ideas with the Danish Pavilion whose “Theatre of the Dark” was calling for the acceptance of impermanence, the unknown, and transformation as a natural part of growth, through light and spoken word performance in the dark.
The second part of the pavilion was a garden within a building with stripped down walls and windows with no limits between inside and outside, culture and nature, art and the world.


 

It brings me to the core of my art practice where everything exists so to interacts with everything.
We are born to interact with our mothers and the world around us, as the world will constantly interact with us, and with itself.

I’m especially interested in our interactions with nature, which evolved into elaborate experience of the garden, park or field where the nature is cultivated, grafted, curated and edited within a restricted space. Very similar to how our development and lives are guided by the space and society we live in.

I use additive and intuitive method of hand building, as if helping the clay to grow, leaving the marks of the interchange with clay visible, as tree rings are the evidence of environment interacting with the tree’s growth.
I want to develop a very physical and material language that doesn’t need to be translated, and explore ideas between this natural order and disorder, minuscule and monumental, within and through, systems and environments.

SUBJECT L5 Summary

The extremely extensive breath of experiences that we underwent this year undeniably helped me to respond in my own individual way, and find my unique voice and direction.
I found my own way of working with clay where like a gardener, I am allowing the clay to grow beneath my fingers into forms, manifesting the underlying systems of growth – whereas personal or social, of ideas, or by looking at detailed botanical drawings, of biological growth.


 

Over the course of year my catalyst object from the Ken Stradling Collection – The Penguin Donkey has provided me with depths of ideas, which profoundly evolved around the knowledge I acquired through exploration of public art spaces in my first FIELD and through critical look at art collections, museums, galleries and the art world in my second FIELD. My Constellation had immense philosophical impact on shaping my practice, exploring ideas by Ingold, Hodder, Abram, Klingan or Wallace around post-anthropocentric, less humancentred design and approach in making.

Whereas the initial ideas that arose from the Ken Stradling Collection circled around high-end design, which was functional yet redefining-ways of living and organisation. They developed to the ideas around living; class, social and personal development.
The furniture piece created specially for Penguin Books, which very much represents the democratisation of knowledge, making great works of literature available for the the first time to the masses in a cheap, portable format.
Eventually, my ideas boiled down to the essence of growth and it’s conditions and systems – whereas personal, social, organic or inorganic.
Seeing Victor Pasmore’s piece in the Tate Modern was a great inspiration and motivation for this direction, as well as work by Ana Lupas, Nao Matsunaga, Angus Suttie, Phyllida Barlow, Ann Gibbs, Yup Look Mun, and multiple botanical illustrators such as Walther Otto Muller, Katie Scott or Ernst Haeckel.

The development of my ideas went hand in hand with my practical work, trying to manifest and develop the ideas in my sketchbook and further. Whereas in beginning I looked at functional designed objects, I produced technical drawings to guide me in plaster lathe turning; later I moved to more free and organic drawing and hand building which really helped me extend the ideas further towards spaces, systems of organisation and clarification, and containment.
Through further practice, questioning and the free experience of La Pedrix residency I could then join, strip down and curate my ideas and material exploration, such as aluminium casting, to one outcome that I could exhibit in our end of year show at CSAD.

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It not only includes my latest work focused on the exploration of growth through clay and my hands (of which unfortunately a large part was destroyed in an explosive bisque firing), but also the journey my ideas went through, morphing from a ‘seed’ through different forms, capturing a garden in the process of growing and changing.


 

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Exhibiting in the Ken Stradling Collection was a very different experience, much more curated and direct with the restriction of taking only a few items over to Bristol.
Exhibiting alongside the seed to my work was so essential; it brought the work back to it’s context, but still standing on it’s own as a solid development to the ideas that created the original Penguin Donkey.

 

Colour in Glazes Technically

Returning to Subject Module, I started to explore colour in glazes on my own, to help me develop specific colour pallet for my Subject work.


Orange being the most prevalent colour in Penguin Books designs, it provides a great depth of symbolism and context associated with the cultural impact Penguin Books had in UK and other English speaking countries. It brought inexpensive fiction and non-fiction to the mass market, educating, and having impact on public debate in Britain, through its books on British culture, politics, the arts, and science.
Therefore, I’m using orange as colour of possibility for social and personal growth.
I found number of good colour pallets around orange, but one with split complementary colours: blue and purple stood out visually, and belonging in the Penguin colour scheme with dark blue representing Biography and Purple representing Essays.

I started with a search for multiple recipes of the chosen colours in EW and SW, which would give me glaze bases and colours which I could then combine and refine.

I tested 4 SW recipes with one very successful Barium based glaze producing interesting dark blues with orangey halo on White Saint Tomas, and another glossy Soto Amber with interesting double colouration, but in green and browns.

Adapting the 2 base glazes, I stained them with commercial stains, which however burned out or in case of Lilac and Rosso Red Stains just reduced in vibrancy. 20170518_111126-COLLAGE

Therefore, I started experimenting with combinations of oxides to mixed into my leftover stained batches, referencing oxide combination sheet in our glaze room.

In the Barium based glaze I used:
Vanadium + Cobalt Carbonate + Titanium Dioxide produced matter, more even, lighter blue.
Manganese Carbonate produced very dark uneven purple.
Vanadium + Rutile didn’t show up and the glaze remained white.

20170518_110437-COLLAGEIn Soto Amber I used:
YIO + Rutile + Vanadium producing just light brown with streaks of blue.
Cobalt Carbonate + Manganese Carbonate + Rutile producing dark background with interesting blue streaks.
And RIO, browning the Rosso Red stain.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had more luck in the EW glazes due to the simplicity of using commercial stains.

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Finding another 4 different glazes, mainly Lead based, but one with Wollastonite andIMG_7803-COLLAGE Strontium carbonate as fluxes which proved as most stable on different clays, pleasant surface and gloss, not settling down and good colour response.

I was able to use colorant combinations from the other glazes to adapt the non-toxic base glaze, and experiment with other combinations, to produce a range of oranges, yellows and dark blue purples.

If I had more time I would really go for a bit more scientific/controlled way of testing the additions to perfect the colours, rather than my very quick, mostly intuitive decision making.

The fact that I opted for spraying my final work, made the glaze much brighter, but at least I’m not having brush streaks or loosing any details in texture.

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The latest test piece glazed with my Penguin Purple, Penguin Yellow, Penguin White and Penguin Orange applied by spraying were acceptable. The one directional application even suggested sun exposure, as if sun rays sprayed the piece, giving direction to the growth.

 

 

 

 

 


NICHOLAS JOICEY; A Paperback Guide to Progress: Penguin Books 1935–c.1951. 20 Century Br Hist 1993; 4 (1): 25-56. doi: 10.1093/tcbh/4.1.25 [https://academic.oup.com/tcbh/article-abstract/4/1/25/1676590/A-Paperback-Guide-to-ProgressPenguin-Books-1935-c?redirectedFrom=PDF]

Colour in Slips technically

Starting with Slip technical, exploring colours in slips with Morgan alongside Field module.


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I started with a search across library books and the internet for base, white slip recipes of which we mixed 7.

We applied them on terracotta and White Saint Thomas tiles in 3 various layers fired to EW and SW temperatures, half glazed. Also fired on its own.
The blobs of slip were created by piping about 20ml of the individual slips onto plaster bat and gently smearing them. However, they proved extremely fragile after drying, some of them quickly cracking in the process of drying. Anyway, the colour was the same as 3 coats on the tiles; on the other hand, we wanted the blobs of slips for more interesting and easier presentation of our outcomes, giving us possibility to use them to create an installation piece.

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The experiment allowed us to see that the simple recipe used in our glaze room: 50/50 of Ball and China clay has the best result in producing white slip in EW temperature, meanwhile using Porcelain powder slip is whitest for SW temperature.

IMG_7383Morgan’s temperature test showed us the colour changes in number of oxides and staines in EW and SW temperature.
Using the chosen 50/50 slip he stained it with Red, Yellow, Purple and Synthetic Iron Oxides, as well as Coral stain and Chrome Oxide.
Half glazed, they reveal a dramatic change in colour.
This test made us stick with EW temperatures, with added bonus of reducing cost and environmental impacts, but being aware of increased fragility of EW products.

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To further see the colour response of each slip recipe, we added 10% of Yellow stain to each recipe, bisque fired and half glazed at EW temperature, on terracotta tiles.
Most of them look the same, except 1 weird recipe that melts on SW.

These experiments gave us really just the starting point, establishing processes and testing techniques, as well as backing up choice for base slip and temperature.
Rigorous testing of combinations of stains and oxides.

We want to be able to produce a specific colour pallet in specific shades, similar to Jin Eui Kim’s carefully mixed tonal range of his engobes, to create an illusion of curves and voids. ltvs-jineuikim-5.jpg