Seeing, thinking and questioning

In the construction tutorial with Claire Curneen on Tuesday, we talked about the ideas we are working on. The work I offered in the tutorial was related to my my graduation. Through the work I would like to convey a feeling of calm and tranquility to the audiences and also a sense of my culture.

Within the tutorial we discussed and analysed students’ works from the scale of the their work; techniques and materials used; composition; what message we want to convey to the audiences and where are we going to display them. All of these elements are important components which informs our work and support our ideas.

Every detail in the work is a hint that links to a particular meaning or message from the artists by which audiences’ thinking or imagination will be stimulated. The message has to be strong enough to support our ideas. Questions may be raised if there was an element that could cause doubt in the work. I think the tutorial is instructive and the result is positive although sometimes being questioned would make you feel vulnerable, it is good for students to shape and formulate their ideas better and strengthen their belief in their work.

After the discussion, I was suggested to look into the work of Piet Stockmans. Since the way he uses materials is similar to the idea I am working on which is to use porcelain without glazing that allows audiences to have direct contact with the material’s smooth texture. To give a sense of Chinese porcelain and cultural identity, Claire suggested to me that to have a very slight touch of cobalt at the tip of the objects. Blue and white porcelain is an iconic symbol in Chinese ceramics and its value has been recognized internationally.

A similar tutorial was ran by Pete and Jemma on Thursday. In the tutorial Jemma provided practical advice on making a plaster mold whilst Pete pointed out what could be the weak points of our ideas that we needed to pay attention to. This was also an informative tutorial for us to understand the possibility at the weakness of our ideas and how to increase conviction in our work.


Piet Stockman

Creation is founded on doing, not thinking;
the act of making brings forth ideas which in their turn give rise to other ideas;
gradually, along the way, strange as it may seem, decisive choices are made.
Like the automatism of the ploughing farmer,
or the habit of prayer,
or the recital of mantras,
or else the repetition of an everyday gesture.
It is a search for simplicity, for calm, for physical well-being.


Positioning Practice – Cath Davis

Comparing the tutorials with Claire and Pete, Cath is structured and logical to help us analyse our work.

Moving on to our final year we need to consider and define our position in ceramics and the context of our work in which meaning is contained. How do we position our work in a wider context and develop a particular theme which represents our own work?

Deconstruction and Reconstruction

To deconstruct the works by analysing the use of materials, making processes, form of the works, themes, textures or motifs in order to understand in-depth of the context of our ideas.

In addition, every piece of research, reading, ideas and concepts from artists and designers could also become evidence to inform the meaning of our work.

deconstruction creative process – what meaning of my work may included
Description (denotation) Analysis (connotation) Theoretical perspective to a wider context
Functional Calm and Harmony through using objects’ form, colours or composition Cultural meaning
Decorative Oriental symbolism
Good forms and shapes Mix of traditional and contemporary
Well balanced balance the use of skills

and ideas

Curved lines Using the east and west concepts
Surface decoration (possibly) such as drawing, carving or may be combination of different techniques Components meaning to the main object
Slip casting To give the audiences an alternativity view in order to change the way the audiences perceive the objects
Throwing pieces
Components or other mediums will be used to enhance the meaning of the work
Stand alone as well as can be grouped together


mended cups

Observation and Analysing:

“Mended Cups”, 2015, Yoko Ono (1933), was used as an example in the lecture.

Starting with observation such as composition and the appearance of the work, the use of materials, surface decoration or placement as well as the background of the artist to investigate the implication and meaning of the work.

Yoko Ono who is an artist from Japan and also the widow of John Lennon. Based on the artist’s background it is quickly associated the cracked cups with a traditional repairing  of broken pottery technique from Japan, Kintsugi. In general, a broken piece of ceramic will not be treasured but discarded. But the Kintsugi technique is used by the Japanese to repair broken ceramics, using a specially mixed lacquer as glue then the cracked lines will be dusted with powdered gold or silver.

At the beginning Kintsugi was conveyed the meaning of the appreciation of beauty in imperfection and was then developed to a philosophy of life.

The Mended cups and its saucers are made from porcelain and every one of them was identical, just like ordinary tea wares. On the surface of these pure white cups appear cracks like golden lines which is implying the cups were broken. On the saucers tragic events were inscripted including the date and when they happened. In one of the saucers was written “This cup was broken in New York City on 8th December 1980”, which was the date Yoko Ono’s husband John Lennon was murdered.

The identical porcelain tea cups are believed to suggest that the ordinary life in which different stories were written or to be written on it while the cracks probably represent regret, pain, frustration or hurt in life yet were repaired and had been highlighted in gold which insinuated appreciation and gratitude of those experiences to enrich our lives.


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