1st November 2017


Laid out all previous practical work, like it was the unit 1 assessment


Why? To really compare and reflect by looking at the journey I have taken so far… I have a tendency to remain ‘inside of my head’ about my work, which often gives a distorted view of my work – often too negative, critical and self-doubting, and good ideas with potential get thrown away.


What did I find?

I still liked the Object, Language, Landscape project because:

  • The colour!  Visually impactful, exciting and has a digitally-rendered aesthetic which makes it uncanny.
  • The objects are fun!  They’re quite kitsch; the skeuomorphic quality of turning familiar, banal objects into blue, miss-scaled iterations is something of a hallmark of kitsch-ness.
  • The objects are kinda wobbly!  It adds a fluidity, flexibility, malleability, ephemerality… to the object, referencing with the clay and hand-building process. Perhaps all my objects need to be hand built?
  • The blob creatures! They’re fun too but they feel important to punctuate the ‘objects’. Without them the installation is about things – consumables – in a way, and not about the fluidity of an imaginary world, as referenced by the material.  These personifiable forms make the collection have a narrative of sorts, or suggest a play-out of a narrative in the mind of the viewer.
  • The space occupied… immediately I can imagine the installation going further, bigger, filling a larger space.

I am not that interested in my vessels project because:

  • It feels like I know exactly where the outcome will lead, which is just the same thing… just better quality of finish, more consistent… and the prospect of doing that is not exciting.
  • The objects straddle the realm of kitsch, camp and fun objects but with a high degree of ‘do not touch’ that just doesn’t work (they’ll break if used)… aesthetically they do not do enough for the eye to warrant them just being like that.
  • BUT…! I do still like some of the textural elements of the work – the raised dots and the tendrils.  Is there a reason why I could use either of these with my installation idea?

I’m somewhat interested in the tactiform project:

  • I know I can make them, and make them well – this shouldn’t be the reason why I continue to do the project.
  • I can’t think of a way they should ‘exist’ in a wider context, apart from abstract sculptures.
  • Again, I like the textural elements… could I or should apply this aesthetic to my installation, and what qualities would that bring… and what meaning?


What do I want to do next?

  • Hand build a range of objects… try to heighten the quality of finish as these may be used for the final installation!
  • Experiment with colour combinations, including gradients… really explore that ‘uncanny’ contrast of colour, which makes physical objects look digital or virtual.  This could be done at this stage as a palette of swatches, small ceramic objects (tiles, cubes, etc.) or even through spray painting an existing uncanny object (like a real banana) and photographing it on different coloured backdrops.
  • Think about scale… how extreme can I go with my scaling?
  • Can I apply any textural elements from tactiforms/vessels project, with relevance and purpose?
  • Can I increase the ‘malleable’ nature of the clay into the objects? Can I merge objects, or have them transform between clay and form?


Also: ‘inherent damage’ idea.

  • Explore what effects/qualities are achieved when smashing a mound, and rebuilding, then taking a cast… I expect it will create a kind of kintsugi effect, yet with a raised seam along the cracks.  Try this out using an old cup mould first, then the cactus mould.
  • Why? It sounds interesting and could potentially be quite inventive… it would certainly take my work into direction where casting becomes important (to achieve this effect). However other than visual interest it is unclear as to why this process ‘needs’ to be applied to what I want my work to communicate otherwise (as per the intentions outlined above).
  • This idea came about while in Japan, exploring the old amalgams kiln sites, scrambling through the shards of old pots and saggars, and talking to Giorgio about some of his research.  When discussing this idea with Giorgio, he suggested that this could be quite unique – a kind of ‘preordained damaged’, referencing to the concepts of past lives or parenthood-childhood, and how damage in a parent can transmit to the child, manifested as physical damage.
  • Interestingly, the ‘scars’ on the surface of the child (cast object) will not be physical weaknesses – the object will be just as robust.  However the life of the parent – the ability for several identical casts to be made – becomes jeopardised much more quickly, and each child is likely to be very different to the previous one with the rapid deterioration of the mould. Also, the variations of the mould being rebuilt each time allows to a lot more deviation and inaccuracy in its reconstruction, which will also offset the sense of perfect replication… (Jane might be interested in this notion for her own project).

1st August 2017

Review of 1st Year Projects

Project 1: ‘Tactiforms’; September-December 2016

3 keywords:

  • Texture
  • Amorphous
  • Handheld

3 positives:

  • Explored a range of different textures and people’s response to textural (subversive) qualities
  • Began to explore amorphous forms that felt ‘just right’ while making and while holding
  • Looked good as a whole set/collection

3 negatives:

  • The work seems more like a scientific experiment with little aesthetic/artistic merit
  • The project is somewhat unfinished in that the results didn’t lead to any specific outcome
  • The general quality of the making was questioned by my peers/mentors

Project 2: ‘Tacti-Vessels’; January-April 2017

3 keywords:

  • Texture
  • Visceral
  • Perverted

3 Positives:

  • The forms had a function, and therefore some kind of outcome or resolution of the contexts/concepts was tangible
  • Making skills were stretched in learning the mould-making process for casting; keen to use this skill again
  • Tried to push irrational revulsion of texture further by making forms which reference human (sexual and gastro) anatomy

3 Negatives:

  • The pieces were quite cliché and gimmicky
  • The pieces were not finished to a high or useable standard (glazing)
  • There were fundamental issues with the usability, by the material of choice: ceramic (i.e. small, brittle, breakable parts)

Project 3: ‘Object, Language, Landscape’; May-July 2017

3 keywords:

  • Iconic
  • Colour
  • Meta-Meaning

3 Positives:

  • Enjoyed making these pieces – it felt like fun, and ambitious (installation)
  • Gut instinct about which objects to make, which objects were ‘iconic’
  • Really pleased with the colour, plus the cheekiness of using car paint instead of glaze

3 Negatives:

  • The pieces were not finished to a consistent high standard – some where better made than others
  • Some objects did not hold enough meaning on their own, and made the viewer question to their inclusion
  • The size of the objects or the number of objects needs to increase to maximize presence