Year 2 Fields – PDP

Synergies Between Materials and Technologies :

Drawing Experience :

I am very satisfied with the experience I gained in this year’s Field projects. For this year’s Field projects I chose Synergies Between Materials and Technologies, and Drawing Experience. They are seemingly different but in a way I think they are actually connected and related. In the first Field project the experience was practice in developing of skill, use of materials and how technologies assist in creation. Then the later project experience was abstract and hard to describe. It was about understanding emotions and strengthening the observation ability of an individual. The later project effectively facilitated every individual in perceiving the world around us sensitively. I would say the later project was the first step of our creation and the first project was the tool to making an idea become a physical object. The Synergies Between Materials and Technologies related to learning different skills and technologies which systematically assist in creation, resulting in increased scientific knowledge which can be used for practical purposes. I particularly enjoy the experience of using all the CAD softwares such as the CNC cutting and 3D printing. They help us to perceive beforehand the objects which are to be created in a faster and more accurate way. The Drawing Experience re-awakened the use of our senses. As I mentioned in my previous writing, I benefited a lot from Zoe’s materiality drawing workshop. The spontaneous response to materials drives the maker’s imagination.

This led me to experiment with use of watercolour, wax and pewter to create a natural dripping movement. The idea of creating the dripping alloy is to combine it with my porcelain made daffodils. The idea of using pewter was  triggered by the  vessels I came  across in a visit to the V&A ceramics gallery last summer. Amongst them I saw some  ceramics  vessels which were decorated with silver.  Such a  slight finishing touch can make the whole  vessels look so delicate. Seeking to expand my knowledge and command of ceramics design vocabulary is something I am trying to achieve. P1010016 However, the result was far from satisfactory.  The  pewter did not deliver the shininess I wanted. Moreover, controlling the melting temperature is  essential since if the temperature is too high while  melting the pewter will look very dull after cooling  and an orange peel-like surface will probably appear.

nature_1Nature always provides a lot of inspiration, especially after visiting the Sensorial Object exhibition and understanding the theory of “synaesthetes”, by which our use of senses was re-awakened and our observation skill of an individual were strengthened. It has helped me to continue to expand the notion that informed the work I produced last year which I think  depicted the object too obviously. Paraphrasing Paul Klee, “Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see”. Aiming to induce audiences’  imagination and the experience of synaesthetes, I made a series of round-bellied and long, narrow-necked vessels, and wide-rimmed vases with ring marks vases.

Throwing these series of vessels, different clay bodies were used – ash white, porcelain and terra cotta. Porcelain gives the best strength and plasticity for stretching a wide-opened rim whereas the ash white can be torn / split at its rim when it reaches a certain wideness.

Despite the fact that my throwing skill is not perfect, I am happy with the experiment of making these vases.

The Synergies Between Materials and Technologies practically assists making and in a way we can automatically gain other skills through the making or trigger ideas. On the other hand, I found that the Drawing Experience was easy to understand in theory, but hard to execute. It takes time along with a lot of practice to achieve a desired outcome. The experience I gained in these two projects was very useful and will definitely benefit my studying in future.


Another experiment in using pewter. This time I used the alloy directly for drawing (drag) out the dripping movement that I wanted. Controlling the heat for melting the alloy is essential since the pewter cools and becomes solid very fast. If it is heated for too long, it will lose it’s shininess. Moreover, the pewter acts like mercury which tends to contract into a blob. So the speed of dragging and heat control have to be balanced really well.

I found that this outcome was much more natural which is what I wanted. In the first experiment I cared too much about to control the movement of the alloy.


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