I know that I need to look at how to express some of the thoughts and ideas I began to delve into in my sketch book. My mind whizzes between the body, nature, funghi, organic shapes, colour no colour, texture no texture, it's all a bit of a muddle.
I discussed this impasse with Rob explaining that despite the recommendations from my assessment, I felt I couldn't sustain the textured pieces at this stage. After discussing what I felt I needed to explore, Rob advised me to stop thinking about texture and focus on forms. I felt encouraged to start thinking about ways to create these ideas so I chose to use coiling. Rather than focusing too much on outcomes, I would look at construction methods using coils, what methods work best to create organic, curved shapes and see what would happen.
I used a variety of different methods, coiling over a plaster former. coiling into a plaster slump mould, coiling onto a clay base and coiling over a line drawn on a piece of paper. I had no specific shapes in mind and would just see what came out of this.
Below are images of the start of these different techniques
I was pleased with the overall look of the body of work I had submitted for this assessment, it was the first time that I felt that I had made a group of pieces that sat together really well and looked cohesive. I was encouraged by the marks I received and the overall feedback and initially felt spurred on to continue to explore textured pieces and see where that would take me. However, about a week later I began to have a lot of doubts about this course of action and felt that it was going against the things I was interested in expressing and that I would end up continuing along a vein of exploration that I wasn't invested in enough to sustain me. A lot of the work I had made was textured and my motivation for making this work had primarily been to fulfil the requirements of an exhibition theme, as such I had not approached it in an exploratory, investigative way but rather in an outcome driven, make a completed piece way. I recognised that I had fallen back into old patterns of behaviour, reactive making rather than intuitive, the work she have begun from the point of exploration, borne out of my own personal curiosity and interests. Don't get me wrong I loved doing it, texture is great, clay is a perfect medium to express a multitude of different styles and types of texture, the possibilities are endless but I realised I needed to let it go for now.
Above is an image of my work displayed ready for assessment.
Below is the very first attempt at making curved stacked forms, the response at assessment to this piece wasn't particularly positive. The feedback was fair in as much as they lacked the quality and presence that I was aiming for (in the way I had achieved in my plaster pieces), but this was my first attempt and perhaps I should have left it out as it was such a stark contrast to the rest of the work submitted, it didn't work in the way I wanted it to, it was only the first attempt and I hadn't got near to resolving the construction process. I was disappointed with it but also that it felt like the beginning of something new. Unfortunately my lack of confidence and persistent feelings of not being good enough as a maker sidetracked me into a corner where I got really stuck and didn't know what to do next so I ended up not doing anything for a few weeks.
This work is in the very early stages of development, I don’t really know what will happen with it or where I want to take it, I just know I need to make these forms, they are in my head and I need to get them out.
As I have mentioned before on this blog, I love abstracted organic forms and am a huge fan of Barbara Hepworth, Jean Arp, Brancusi, Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore, Tony Cragg and many others. I am also a great admirer of renaissance figurative sculptures, in particular the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, his ability to capture the flesh, the curves of the body the fluidity of line and form is just spectacular, to sculpt marble that looks so soft and sumptuous is just remarkable and I am inspired by his work.
These pieces have a long way to go, I need to work out construction processes, experiment with scale, make both solid and hollow forms, sketch out more shapes and explore ideas for developing the work.
Below are some images of the pieces in progress, I used both slabs and coils and pinch pots to construct these, I over scraped the one in the centre top which resulted in an uneven thickness of walls and stress cracks at a vulnerable point in the piece where the extended piece juts out.
The pieces were single fired to 1260 C and I requested that they were kept on a separate shelf from other work as they were to remain unglazed and are a white clay body when fired. Unfortunately for reasons I haven’t been able to understand yet, they have yellow marks on one side, and the overall surface has gone a tinged yellow colour, however it was fired with glazed items so I believe that this may have caused the yellowing to occur. Below are some images of the pieces.