One to One with Maiko
Create a narrative which contextualises the characters
Could be a rewriting of an existing story/myth
Create 5 different forms
Why would the creatures be together?
Why do the creatures look this way?
Why do they look different?
What are they doing?
What are they trying to say/do?
Small scale experiments;
- Hand making cactus – make several to see if they can be made to an appropriate standard, rather than casting them
- Small scale – as above but seeing what qualities emerge from smaller scale modelling
- Mould breaking casts (“inherited kinstugi”) – kintsugi inspired process where the mould is broken and reassembled, then used to slip cast (mug, cactus), rather than traditional kintsugi method of the form baring the actual breaks. Instead the cast forms ‘inherit’ the cracks from the parent mould, as a motif, rather than an actual breakage. Each cast may further degrade as the cracks in the mould degrades over time.
- Exploring colour – using coloured glazes to explore qualities of finish and apply colour… unsure about the potency of the colour as if applied via glaze. I’ll then photograph these (little yellow cacti) on various coloured backgrounds (deep red, fuchsia pink, lime green).
Currently all 4 experiments are in the kiln, will analyse results next week.
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).
After several, generally supportive and encouraging tutorials, I feel fairly confident in my instinctive vision for some kind of ‘final piece’ to be exhibited during the summer show. I think I am going to create a landscape of the afore-mentioned objects, as an assemblage or installation of some kind. There are 3 main aims of the work:
- For me to try and ascertain if there is any rationale to these particular objects being interesting for me to build. Are there any similarities in these forms? Am I interested in the objects’ manufacture, or is it an affinity towards the individual forms/types of form that drives me to make these selections?
- To see if these objects (and the way they are displayed) have a connection to a wider audience. Is it the same connection? Are these objects significant to me, or are there wider significances embedded in these objects?
- To develop my crafting and fabrication skills, improve the overall quality of my output and achieve consistency (mastering of skills)
There are a few contextual questions I am posing while making (and while presenting) the work; questions I hope to be able to find out, understand in some part or lead to further critical thinking:
- What these objects communicate? Individually? Collectively?
- Do these objects mean the same thing to other people? To all people?
- How are objects used to communicate meaning?
- How does assemblage communicate meaning?
- (What is meaning? Is it a language? Is it a universal language?)
I currently believe that the selection of these objects are likely to be understood by me very differently than to others; my instincts tell me that the selection and creation of certain objects is defined by my own conscious and sub-consciousness, and informed by my own contexts. Thus I hypothesise that while there may be some common ground for like-for-like meanings and significances, I think there is a great deal of personal choice at work within a great number of variables, and therefore the meanings will differ person to person.
There have been a number of contexts I have discovered and recommended. Each brings its’ own influence and potential, and these must be considered in order to enrich and give purpose to my investigation:
- Felieke Van Der Leest, jewellery.
- Playing with familiar forms, deconstructing and reconstructing
- Applying the recognisable and familiar to motif and aesthetic
- Applying playful, toy like qualities to precious jewellery
25th June 2017
Objects to make:
- Cactuses (x4+)
- Big blobs (x2)
- Small blobs (x2)
- On floor
- Felt ‘tendrils’ connecting objects
- All painted blue
- Original ceramic texture important
- Monday – Hotdog, Sandwich, cast cactus #1
- Tuesday – 2x Big Blobs, cast cactus #2
- Wednesday – RUTC SHOW, cast cactus #3
- Thursday – Padlock, Screw, cast cactus #4
- Friday – Tooth, 2x Small Blobs, cast cactus #5
- Monday – AWAY
- Tuesday – Experiment with felting wool: arrangements and into plaster
- Wednesday – Felting wool into plaster
- Thursday – Firing (A.M.)
- Friday – Take out of kiln, Photoshoot with Dorota
- Monday – Last day for firing
- Tuesday – Installation
- Wednesday – Display work
- Thursday – Summer Show
What about bone? Or bone china?
These things come from my mind – what material is the right way of expressing this?