Stoneware reflection - concept developments

Looking in more depth as to why I'm drawn to making vessels and textural forms - what am I trying to achieve in my works?

Key themes:

  • Texture and preserving human touch

  • reflecting anthropomorphic qualities within vessels

  • exploring social issues such as feminism - focus on ones personal to me

  • creating a sense of empathy with the object or form of connection between viewer and vessel

  • organic forms personified forms


What could the opening of the vessel represent? Why am I interested?

Different types of openings -synonyms:

Hole, gap, wound, vent, window, slot, crack, slit, beginning, launch, birth, cavity, incision, groove, peephole, gateway, doorway, portal, entry, exit, vacancy

'Wound' - representative of physical cuts or what society could view as a wound? Being anything other than the "standard" (white male) seen as a wound? Being female - vessel opening could be yonic, symbolically or represented through form and decoration.

'Window' - insight into something. Different point of view or experience of the world, or a peephole into something forbidden, secrecy.

'Birth' - having a hollow form, possibilities of holding something else. Containers - for products or for life. Women viewed as baby containers? A gateway/portal into different life


Similar to cross hatched drawings - lots of small repetitive marks that together create the overall drawing, singularly are irrelevant and don't have much impact. Need the layering and multiple marks to create the picture - each small event, feeling or experience has an impact on the individual and shapes them into their form. Always changing and every happening leaves a mark in the memory that adds to the building of you as a person. The rapid movements that mark the surface become anthropomorphic on a 3D vessel, wrapping around the object - similar to a fingerprint. The texture of each vessel is its own fingerprint.

The importance of touch - preserving each time the maker touches and physically interacts with the material by not smoothing out the maker marks. Disrupting the smooth clay, transforming the surface with the 'imperfect touch' to create a raw representation of human touch. Leaving the construction visible preserves a record of its making - once fired it will always show the touch that formed it. Similar to fossilised footprints - touch that moulded the mud trapped in time and history.

"documents the intimacy of touch through a gesture of the hand" - Andrew Lord

Connecting with the material - transmits human qualities into the clay. Ceramics that appears to breathe, swallow, smell, watch, listen etc. Allowing the clay to move under the hands freely as an organic material gives us a somewhat a loss of control but still dominance over the outcome. Allows spontaneity and free creation - workmanship of risk in that still creating 'good', skilful works (not anti skill) but accepting what the material wants to do and how it wants to respond to touch as part of the process. Animate the clay, sagging, lumps and bumps - anthropomorphic form.

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