Stoneware experiments

Starting this term, I wanted to make intuitively. With my project exploring chance, risk and intuition, I aimed to represent this in a work that allowed the clay to react to my touch. I wanted to create a feeling of growth and movement, as if the clay was growing upwards itself and me simply being its facilitator.

I rolled coils of roughly 1-3cm in diameter, not precisely as to let the clay react accordingly to the varying thicknesses, then draping them in rough circular motions onto a slap base. Wherever the coils initially connected with the clay underneath is where I attached them, resulting in an unsymmetrical form with folds and bulges.

At the beginning I was using a flat wooden tool but quickly decided to ditch this and only use my hands - connecting with the material through touch and allowing the imperfect to happen, without tools to create a perfectly consistent finish.

Process video:

At this point I paused to consider the size - I liked how it was working so far but waned to some more dramatic folds in the clay. Therefore, I decided to keep building up the clay to allow the additional weight to cause more slumping and bulges in the clay.

Assessing my work so far:

Close up photos:

Finished form:

I also wanted to play around with scale, seeing if this effected the impact of the piece or if a heavier weight of clay (used for a larger ceramic) was necessary to create the folds and slumps.

Top: Medium size

Bottom: Small size

This work feels the most true to 'me' so far, not influenced directly by other makers or historical objects but just allowing myself to make intuitively. I have always been very drawn to textural maximalist surfaces and the fluidity and movement through this piece created by the finger marks demonstrates this well. I'm very happy with the form created in the larger piece as it seems organic and almost like the clay is growing itself. The smaller forms are less successful in my opinion as the folds and bulges are far less dramatic. On a commercial standpoint these could work well as less expensive pieces that represent a style, if this is a style I continue to develop and keep, but as artworks in their own right they feel underwhelming.

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