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.

 

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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

Freddie Robins

Freddie transforms the craft of knitting and textiles into conceptual art where her peculiar life-sized bodies challenge the notion of normality and conformity. 
“She uses knitting to explore pertinent contemporary issues of the domestic, gender and the human condition, more recently exploring and expressing intimate feelings of sadness, fear and loss.”


Freddie captures my interest not only in her peculiar and fun wool sculptures, but her eccentric and playful personality.
I wish I could express this side of my character in my work more too.
Freddie’s work is full of bright colour with vivid narrative and context.

It’s highly figurative as her concerns cycle around the human condition, domesticity and gender; an issues I’m mostly interested to explore.

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Styllou – 22 1/2 hours 
 Ground Floor, 11 South Hill Park, Hampstead, London – 1954

Her project ‘Knitted Homes of Crime’ depicts a number of wool houses where a female killer would have lived or committed their crimes.
It plays beautifully on the ideas of domesticity: with the domestic aspect of textiles and activity of knitting, the container – house and femininity associated with housewives; but destroys it with the narrative and context where safety,certainty of containment is exchange with danger, uncertainty and rejection.

This juxtaposition and contradiction is the way I tried to lead my work and context, and still add as much process learning and exploration of clay and ceramics as possible.

I also used textiles as my starting medium, but then translated it into ceramic and played with the functionality of a tea-set, a very domestic object, and used it to narrate and express feelings of containment, or rather its absence.

 

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Eve Hesse

American Abstract Impressionist sculptor, who would emigrate with her family from Nazi torn Germany as a very young girl.
When spending a year back in Germany, she had to use her ingenuity and creativity to create expressive sculptures from found material in disused German factor, where later materials such as latex, fibreglass and plastic become her characteristic elements throughout her work.


Her creativity and playfulness in usage of these unconventional materials fascinates me, and that’s where I would like to strive. It’s very minimal approach of exhibiting, which subtly suggest ideas behind human condition – in its sexuality and naturality distanced from conventional nature, repetition, connectivity, or failing to find satisfying amount of meaning.

I want to strive for more playful usage of other materials with ceramics, as I managed in Tea for Two, and stay within the subject of human condition and philosophy, as that is what art means for me.

Continue reading Eve Hesse

Katharine Morling

Katharine is UK ceramic artist predominantly working in unglazed porcelain, creating a three dimensional drawing of everyday inanimate objects.


I admire the strip to complete simpleness in Katharine’s work, but still expressing a lively and whimsical illustrative nature, with aspects of positive nature and character of the artist.

Especially with her newer work, archive drawers, collections of found specimens from nature expressing almost childlike fascination with the world.

This work informs my exploration in line through supportive structures of cooling towers and industrial architecture in my Subject, as well as the seams of my Tea for Two textile tea-set.
The ambiguity is especially strong in this collection of peculiar objects, being life size replicas of real objects but stripped down to number of lines and a shape, making us feel uncertain of their full 3D or 2D capabilities; same as my uncertainty in stability and containment.

Continue reading Katharine Morling

Alison Britton

Alison is one of the leading ceramic artists of her generation, and part of a radical group of RCA graduates in the early 1970s.
She took function and ornamentation as her subject to explore, focusing on the containing qualities – “both its formal possibilities and its capacity to hold and communicate thoughts and ideas. “

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Outflow, 2012, Alison Britton Photographer: Philip Sayer

In her newer work (2012) she gives emphasis on the colour and the fluidity of slip application.
I’m interested to extend my knowledge of slips, as great colourant of surfaces, but now as a 2D form shaper through it’s fluid application.

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Standing and Running: Watershed, Alison Britton 2012 Photographer: Philip Sayer

As Alison I’m also interested in the exploration of ‘containment’ through the language of ceramic vessels.
However I want to focus more on the absent feeling of these qualities, related to human experience and our aspiration for permanent security and stability, or rather the normality of the constant search.

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Doubletake, 2011, Alison Britton Photographer: Philip Sayer

Continue reading Alison Britton