Drawing to ceramics inspiration

In my research, I found an exhibition catalogue in the library for 'Firing Thoughts'. The exhibition explored a selection of artists' relationships with drawing and how it impacts their ceramic works. The basis of the exhibition was drawn from a quote by artists Eric Mellon "drawing onto clay is firing thoughts into ceramic". I liked this quote and felt connected to it. When I add my marks to the surfaces of my pots, I feel like I'm scratching a bit of myself and the movement of my body into them, permanently connecting me to each piece.

Another idea from the catalogue was that, for some, drawing is a means of expressing ideas rather than developing designs. This means that some artists use drawing to get feelings and ideas onto paper rather than using drawing as a way of developing ideas further - drawing as a form of expression rather than technical refinements. I feel like this is a natural way of working for me - I definitely used to draw out all my designs and try to refine them on paper before touching any clay. Whereas now, I enjoy working with the clay to develop a shape, having a conversation with the material as I make, so it also influences the form's final outcome. This is also how I have been creating my drawings/paintings, not going in with a predetermined idea of the outcome but working with my materials and my body to express gestural movement.

Nevertheless, I did really like how aesthetic many of the technical drawings displayed in the book were. I still do outline sketches of forms and shapes I want to make, but overall I allow the clay to finalise this rather than totally manipulating it into my desired form.

Sketches by Jim Malone and Bernard Leach:

A couple of artists resonated with me from this catalogue. See the sketchbook page below.

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