Some recent work including pieces mentioned in the previous post. The piece I am currently working on feels very personal to me. It’s the kind of piece which comes from your subconscious and takes time to unpick. It is obviously about old and new meeting, it is jarring and uncomfortable. I have always felt that my work is about celebrating imperfections (Wabi Sabi) but I think it is becoming more than that. Existentialism, immortality, permanence and impermanence are just some of the words that spring to mind. Having re-read my essay I have been reminded of what a good metaphor ceramics is for life, a permanent material which is inherently fragile. Pottery can be an emblem of fixity, I guess the fragments are a symbol of the past which is in a sense fixed. These pieces are also a reminder of my past and previous generations in my family, the part they play in shaping me (sometimes whether I like it or not!). The middle ‘new’ piece is organic and growing/still changing, broken in places but mended and stronger. Again I am reminded of this quote from Ruskin:
“imperfection is in some sort essential to all we know of life. It is the sign of life in a mortal body, that is to say, of a state of progress and change.” Ruskin (1997) p.92
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/may/28/ai-weiwei-artist-hari-kunzru This article on Ai Weiwei has helped to clarify some of the thoughts I have been having about my own work.
I have been really struggling with how to make the going from one form to another work. I started off by replicating a cup and saucer based on measurements taken from a fragment of each, I then started to think how I could get from the shape of a saucer to a cup, after a few a sketches I created a tall cylinder which I intended to push the saucer shape into (the diameter of the bottom of the cylinder matched the saucer. This however didn’t work so I decided to push a plate (junk shop find) through the cylinder. I then added more cylinders to the first with slight curves in to give the sense of something growing and organic. I have started to push fragments of another plate into the cylinder and intend on adding some metal fragments to the top. The top will have to be attached later as the piece is too big for the kiln.
I am unsure what this piece of works’ story is as it kind of evolved form a different idea. I feel like I have lost my way a little and I should re-read my original essay to remind myself what my original intentions were.
The first image is a piece by Ingo Maurer it is fantastic (thanks Aimee) and not too dissimilar to another idea I had which was to start with a cake stand structure with an intact plate at the bottom which slowly changes into an intact cup at the top, the change would take place by fragmenting another plate and slowly adding cup fragments until it becomes a cup. Ingo’s piece really shows you how beautiful pieces of broken pottery can be, which I guess is one of my intentions.
The two other images are work by Thomas Heatherwick, looking at this work has made me re-think my ideas about scale!