When considering a topic to explore, I began thinking about the branches of my work that I want to take further.
I have been reading The Beauty of Everyday Things by Soetsu Yanagi recently which I've found both extremely relevant to my practice as well as a contradiction. His discussion essentially suggests that minimalist, functional design is the best type of design but I find myself drawn to more maximalist pieces.
Focusing on the discussion of folk craft and the beauty found in everyday objects in The Beauty of Everyday Things by Soetsu Yanagi. I’m interested on focusing on ceramic craft as well as how folk craft/art has adapted over the years along with its perceptions.
Idea 1 - I disagree with the notion argued that ‘plain and natural’ are the most beautiful, as I believe maximalism can provide a great depth of beauty. I’m considering researching the comparison between maximalism and more minimalist craft to discover which is more ‘beautiful’ and why. Considerations of different cultures – Indian culture has lots of maximalist elements whereas Scandinavian and Japanese design has a focus on simple forms and light natural colours. Why is minimalism ‘good design’ according to many, including Camberwell ILEA Collection? An exploration of maximalism vs minimalism.
Idea 2 – Researching the importance of handmade craft, why is it still important in modern day when things can be made more cheaply and quickly in factories by machines? Exploring the maker-object relationships formed and how value of things changes when people know how they were made. What is the significance of things being made by hand – looking at the impact it has on the maker as well as the buyer and surrounding communities.
Idea 3 – Exploring why the quality and beauty of everyday objects became unimportant. Rise of digital technology? Mass production making them seem cheap and common? Why can’t cheap and common be ‘beautiful’?
If focusing on one type of ceramic I’d want to look at vessels. I have always been drawn to objects that are functional but are never used or serve no purpose, despite being technically useable. Although ‘vessels’ covers essentially anything that could hold a liquid, I think it’s interesting to see how they have changed over time and how the domestic became the sculptural.