Ceramics Midterm Progress
My photos above showcase the progress I’ve made throughout the semester. By employing handbuilding and some wheel-throwing techniques, I’ve started the process of using and understanding my own sense of utility. Plates are made with repetitive pattern, glazed with whatever comes to mind in the zoning out process of creation, and paired with other clay vessels to create a conversation between what is utilized and what is cosmetic.
In photo 1, I hold a clay mug made with handbuilding techniques. It is slightly beveled and stout in comparison to the mug on the table. I plan to marry these two cups together on one table setting to show differences between the people who’d use those mugs and how they’d be utilized in an everyday sense.
Photo 2 is an in-process photo of my bisque ware, and photo 3 is another view of my current creations. I’m very excited for the egg tray (eggs-ited? heh).
In response to where I’ve been researching the idea of shaping clay as a usable vessel and transferring its utility to match my own definition, I’ve been observing a few clay artists via instagram and pinterest.
Helen Levi makes a variety of vessels with utilitarian purpose, but does so in an elegant and refined way. Something I wanted to use as an inspiration to keep my pieces cohesive and tidy. Messiness is a part of the medium, but looking at those experienced ceramicists that know how to bend the medium as they see fit is beneficial in learning.
Adore Ceramics makes both wheel-thrown and hand built pottery that is eye catching and mystifying. I use their application of hand build textures and glazing techniques to inform and influence my decisions with moving forward with my own pieces.
As for my book of choice, I’ve been reading Red Brick, Black Mountain, and White Clay by Christopher Benfey. Not only is the correlation between his family using the land of different places to influence their work and home lives a key part of my process, but the insight into shaping the land into a way to be usable is especially interesting to me. I try to use the clay I receive, recycle, or reuse in a way that honors its original form– something made from the Earth that has a use and a utilitarian value to human consumption. Whether that item be multiple pieces put together to achieve a mini-table setting for on-the-go travel, or if its a larger vessel used as a centerpiece in a table setting, anything you make with clay as a vessel form has an ability to be used and appreciated as a crafted piece of art.
Moving forward, I intend to focus on texture, detail, and cohesion in my table settings. This will provide a bigger and broader understanding of who my potential seated “guests” are, as well as highlight the intensity behind clay work, whether it be wheel-thrown or hand built. I will be crafting utensils, bowls, platters, plates, and anything else that comes to mind.