Many a Slip Summary

SUBJECT
Being fully submerged into the world of ceramics and begin to explore its qualities, processes and possibilities.


Final desk presentation

I feel very positive about my first year of Ceramic degree; however, the feeling is conquered by the overwhelming drive to learn and explore more.
The intensive workshops and lectures at the beginning of the year, followed by my trials and errors showed me the immense depth in ceramic, and also art in itself.

I focused my work towards the shape and structure and what meaning they can carry.
Starting with the fascinating documentary photography by Bernd and Hilla Becher of old industrial structures and analysing the main elements through work of Felicity Aylieff, Annie Turner, Steve Buck, Alison Britton, or Katharine Morling.

I feel I only scraped all the possibilities of manipulating clay and can still extend on my skills relating to throwing and turning, hand-building or slip-casting. I feel confident to use these techniques well and safely, but still able to perfect them endlessly – to the direction of perfect functionality and perfect repetition, and to the other extreme of expressive experimentation.

The surface was a bit trickier, with me taking rather slower to understand glazes and come with a satisfying result. I still mixed and experimented wit numerous glazes and combination, I just need a summer to process all the information and grasp the knowledge.
For my final pieces I adapted and mixed few stoneware matt transparent glazes, an rusty glaze and a found gold pigment glaze recipe. Used slip, wax resist, sgraffito, different form of application (pour, dip, spray). However, now I feel I haven’t done enough testings with them as I’m not completely satisfied with the end result of the final pieces.

By his I just found more questions rather than answers, and direction to explore rather than the ones I managed to probe to a satisfactory level, than ever before.

Undoubtedly, I seized every opportunity to learn and absorb knowledge and experience like a sponge, and I do feel significantly fuller but still hungry for more.
With the constellation I managed to tap into the infinite academic exploration that excites me, and being able to critically think and explore topics in such a deep level for the first time when practically working with a material must be the biggest merit of this year.

That’s why I’m sparked to carry on learning even more in the future: continuing now this summer followed by next academic year.

 

Tea for Two Summary

FIELD module focusing on bridging disciplines across the Art School as well as between ourselves within the first year Ceramicists. 


In our second Trimester we were asked to invite each other for a metaphorical and collaborative tea in the FIELD project ‘Tea for Two‘. In pairs we were set a challenge to create a tea-set representing or coming from our cooperation.
Unfortunately, my accomplice couldn’t be available to be engaged in this quick and immersive project. So instead I invited to the tea party with ceramics a different, but still very domestic material: textiles.
It is ingenuity and adaptivity of using different materials laying around, for her own advantage that I admire about Eve Hesse and her expressive sculptures. I found these qualities useful in this project and I could extend them slightly, but there’s always more to learn.
However, I was glad that my tea partner could join me few sessions and add some of her thoughts into the project, even try and create a design together straight after introduction of the project.

The print workshop with Ann Gibbs helped me develop and focus the theme of the project into a consistent thread, that I could develop even further; joining domesticity containing tea-set and textiles with ideas of containment and the absence of it – homelessness and precariousness.
Plunged into paper and ink and the art of printmaking I could go and explore this field with screen-printing induction in our print workshop and create a small booklet of my simple screen-prints which then I attempted to bound by a thread.

Part of the FIELD module was the external (2., ) collaboration in which I worked within a group of an illustrator, fine artist and graphic designer. It was rather interesting how we all contributed to our short group project in different way. It stimulated creation of new ideas I could really explore on my own.

I must say the way I changed my working in FIELD influenced how I’m planning to work in the future. With deep skills  in working with plaster and creating good quality, more complicated plaster moulds, slips, printmaking, incorporating textiles but in future even more materials into my ceramics or the processes of manipulating clay, or narrative giving qualities of the material and tools I’m using.

I could play with deep concepts and ideas through materials, and explore the narratives they create.
When I had to leave for family matters, I could still take my work with me and create different shapes, due to the greater portability of fabric compare to clay. I could even further explore the ideas behind containment and certitude, and use and recycle my old clothes that would contain my body in past into something completely different now.

I’m even happy with my final exhibition set-up of the Tea for Two outcomes, with a good chat with Claire Curneen.
However, I would like to see my pieces finished with at least clear matt glaze, making then functional, with only the feeling of uncertainty of it’s functionality. As well as further time to explore even more surface alteration of the pieces.

Final Tea for Two Final Tea for Two

3D Museum visit – Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal

Another session at the Cardiff Museum involved a search for definition of Third Dimension, with an extract from The Optical Unconscious by Rosalind Krauss.

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After reading the text and trying to imagine what 3D could define, some initial ideas rise:

  1. a layer not visible to a quick perception, glance.
  2. basic emotions that interact and mix, creating new sensations and emotional balance.
  3. procreation, preservation, destruction.
  4. the most familiar world to us.


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Last Punch of the Clock by David Garner 2009

The familiarity of life in 3D and the cycle of procreation~preservation~destruction as well as their non-existential boundaries.
The text talks about the mot common dimension, and foreground being also background or the top being the bottom, erasing the perceptions of boundaries. The image speaks of destruction in preservation as gushing winds are sweeping through the landscape, people trying to keep the flying circular object (a planet?) (with the man) from flying away, them being entangled and their freedom restricted.

The “Last Punch of the Clock” talks about the familiar, 3D cycle of life, as the clocks themselves. The punch card are being destroyed, to preserve the record of procreation/work, which destroys the body of the worker which then allows to procreate itself.

Ceramic is very much about preservation (archeological significance, writing tablets, contains, or stores) through procreational but at the same time destructive powers of fire and heat.

In all cases, procreation, preservation and destruction are essential parts of our life and world, the 3D of our 3D world, interlinked and in ever-changing cycle.

3D designing bases/coasters

Using Rhino to 3D design and potentially 3D print bases for my thrown vessels.


As my exploration into my ideas for the project I want to look at new and emerging technologies and see how I could use them for my practice.
With our Techie Tuesdays lectures I had a good insight into this experimental field.

I decided to try and learn to use Rhinoceros 3D Software by making a relatively simple shape of circular bases with pillar forms, inspired by industrial structures, like cooling towers.
These object, potentially 3D printed, could carry my thrown vessels completing the look I’m exploring, as well as act like coasters.

Looking again, at Bechers’ photographs of industrial buildings and having few sketches and designs in my sketchbook, as well as measuring bases of my already thrown vessels, I decided to plunge into Rhino.

1 base 2 base
3 base 7cm

These are the first trials that came up from my play with Rhino; learning basic Rhino functions such as extrude, repeat, join, bend, etc.

I’m looking forward to produce more of them and 3D print them to see what adaptations they need.

I can vary the pillars/stilts in almost unlimited ways, as well as making the flat surface octagonal or a different shape.

“There’s many a slip twixed cup and lip”

It has been exactly 8 weeks from receiving our SUBJECT brief titled “There’s many a slip”, exploring the ceramic practice of creating vessels.
It’s few days to our group tutorial as well as close to the Formative Assessment, giving us an idea on what mark we stand on, judging on skills, context and ideas.
This will allow us to see and choose what direction we want the project to go in the Second Term.

I want this post to be my reflection on my ideas and exploration into a vessel, preparing me for the group tutorial to get most out of it. 


re cycle
The old English proverb that the brief is titled suggests that even if we know how something might turn up, and even if we are certain, something might still develop in an undesirable way.
It’s a great allegory to our first term of the degree where we are introduced to so many ideas and processes.
I managed to produced more waste (only recyclable of course) than functional objects; always pushing the clay when on the wheel to the point of collapse while developing my throwing skills, but at least I’m more confident at centering, pulling walls and creating shapes I desire.

V&A

As our first trip to the V&A Museum in London in the first, induction week revealed, there’s a huge number of ways to explore the subject of vessels; from just function or disfunction, to shape and size, colour and texture, narrative and impression or perhaps to nihilism and meaningfulness?

Besides, all the cultures Luxury cupsdeveloped an object to hold liquid, and to drink from for millennia. As the “1660 Tea Cup Connoisseur Set” exhibited as part of the V&A exhibition entitled “What is Luxury?” points out, is how the small differences in the shape of vessel can impact taste. Highlighting the lip of a cup and how it can enhance aroma, texture or taste.

I tried to look at what is pleasant for me too, when drinking from a vessel, and found out how a small milk jug with a pouring lip is my favourite object to drink a hot tea from (especially a three cinnamon tea).

Lipcup
Favourite cup

 

 

 

 

 

Also how profoundly different experience it is to drink fresh water from an Indian mug with a sucking lip rather than using just clean plain glass.
Nosecup Nosecup

 

 

 

 

 


However, the emerging technology around ceramics and art interested me too. I’ve been so thankful I could see a 3D printer working at the British Ceramic Biennale.3D printed vessels
3D printing ceramics

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One of my 3D design attempts. A base/saucer for my vessels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m curious about playing with 3D software modelling and 3D printing, and incorporating this into my ceramic work, which than can speak of more contemporary ideas of practice and production.


An idea behind a body of work is important for me, as I want to explore or read concepts and arguments through an object.

Vulcanic vessel

Even an object gushing and bursting like vulcan full of magma can be considered a vessel; its own lava creating its walls, speaking of the formation process of clay and the Earth’s surface, as well as exciting and ever-changing human culture surrounding clay.


Throw and cast

That’s why the objects created this 8 weeks want to speak about an impression: of a certain stability, like photographs of Bernd & Hilla Becher, of total steadiness and secureness, supported and weighted by their bases, fully functional with their angled lip and still they can develop in unpredicted way, like “many a slip…”

Like the documentary photography of Bechers, this is a snapshot of my progress throughout this first year of my degree.
Like the structures they photographed, strong and secure, but now all disassembled, demolished or not used; most of my work destroyed and reclaimed, my skills improved and changed.

Session I Recap – Creativity and Cognitive Development in Arts

Missing my first study group session with Sarah Smith, I have received the extract that they read and notes of the arguments they went over.


“But as every chip of the chisel contributes to the emergent form of the statue, so every drop of supersaturated solution from the roof of the cave contributes to the form of the stalagmite. When subsequently, the statue is worn down by rain, the form-generating process continues, but now without further human intervention.”

“Creativity happens between things”

Ingold, Tim, (2003), Making: Anthropology, Archeology, Art and Architecture; Abingdon, Routledge.


Hylomorphism is the theory that every physical object is composed of 2 principles, a combination of a prime matter, and form.
Hylomorphic model argues that creation of an object is composed of an idea and raw materials, processed/fused (form giving process) until we end up with an artefact that is the idea.

This is a beautiful notion, that shows how our creative thought/inner world can shape the world of matter outside, manifest the ideas in object significant to a human.
This can partially explain why humans tend to surround themselves with manmade objects; or rather thoughts, feelings and ideas of others, like endless, silent conversations.


If we consider ‘agency’ and theory of Material Engagement we can see an argument suggesting that making is a process in which “the matter [is] a participant in amongst a world of active materials” (Ingold, 2003, p.21)

Malafouris, L., (2003), How Things Shape The Mind: A Theory Of Material Engagement, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Session II of Creativity and Cognitive Development in Arts by Sarah Smith

The majority of the session was receiving and reading a three pages extract individually.

We found out Arnheim’s argument that thinking without perceiving first hand is close to impossible. He strongly argues the importance of teaching arts in education, as artistic expression is a different way of reasoning. 


For a homework we were asked to write a 300 words blog post on how the text can relate to our subject.
As a ceramicist I’m probably more aware of the malleable, universal and interactive properties of a clay. These qualities are potentially essential for a creative/perceptual thinking and reasoning; perhaps similar to a language.
Expressing a person’s inner thoughts, or creating a new ones.
An interaction with clay would strengthen individual’s perceptional skills, essential to healthy and productive thinking in other fields of learning.

Also teaching about clay and techniques to control it, such as throwing are close to impossible to teach by written or spoken word. Even demonstration is not enough; direct perceiving and interaction of the individual with the material and technique is essential for her/him to comprehend.

Designing object which would stimulate someones creativity and perceptual playfulness is an interesting topic to explore, and I wonder how a cup, bowl or other pottery could have these stimulating qualities.


University studies in the past required their learners to spend time extending their artistic skills too, in the field of music, painting, craft or sculpture. Perhaps they could feel more the positive impact creative development have on overall human intellect.


I would like to know about more research in that topic and around Arnheim’s arguments.
However this first session of mine has disappointed me greatly, with too much time spending reading the few pages on the one idea, that could be read at home in a more suited atmosphere.
With no more contradicting arguments, research to back it up or any other facts.
It’s like the lecturer wanted to prove the argument; with no stimulating interactions, discussions, not even perceiving new ideas through listening. Rather just reading and watching the lecturer on their phone, laptop and running off.