MA Learning Agreement 2 (29/11/11)

Name Crispin Owen
MA Course Title Ceramics
Status (F/T or P/T) P/T
Date 29/11/11
Version No.: 2
Brief explanation/ outline of project
 The development of my work in the form of multiples or collections such as ‘cabinets of curiosities’ will form the basis of my MA study. The idea of wunderkammers, curiosities, collections and the whole reasoning behind the need to collect will inform the work. I need to find out why people feel the need to collect ‘objects’ and how this impacts on their lives and as artists on their work.I feel the development of my thrown pieces will give me the scope to play with form so they can be used as individuals or multiples. I will use throwing techniques as tools to help move the work forward. These ideas will inform my work and I hope lead it to develop away from the idea of slab built ‘flattened’ pieces which formed the main body of my work before my MA.

 My surfaces have been about pattern rather than decoration and this is something i wish to understand and see whether the form itself can be more important. I have been undertaking some research on found object art, especially the sculptures of Louise Nevelson and wish to explore this theme in my work incorporating object forms in my pieces. I also wish to explore the idea of boxes or containers both in clay and other materials as well and this will be a way of displaying my work in a different way much like a wunderkammer display.

Context / Rationale
 I would like my work to build on my many influences especially sculpture and craft. While keeping true to the material and processes i still wish to stretch the way that ceramics is viewed. Although my influences are sculptural i feel that i need to work round the idea of a vessel perhaps in its loosest form. I also wish to explore the idea of multiples and combinations of pieces that work together. These may be companion pieces that create one overall form or multiple boxes of work that create a new form and identity when displayed.

Another area i need to explore is the idea of truth to material. My passion is for working with the clay itself, the way it can be manipulated because of its flexible properties. That feeling changes as the work dries. I need to look at ways of keeping that natural feeling to the fireing process. In the past i have experimented with smoke, sagger and salt fireings.  I feel that i need to look at other methods and explore the idea of fuming and perhaps using lustres. This would tie in with my love of highly decorated icon imagery and triptychs.

Key areas of Research / Key Activities
 I need to look at developing the idea of multiple forms and the way they are displayed. Throwing will give me the opportunity to produce multiples quickly and freely. I need to build on my throwing skills and ability to adapt to different materials. I will need to develop the research i have already undertaken into areas such as ‘objet trouve’. I will also need to look at the need for decoration and pattern which will involve assessing whether the collections will form their own patterns. Will the way that the pieces are displayed create a form or pattern on a wall or floor?

 I need to address my issues with the way I finish my work. To develop a range of glazes and fired surface that compliment the form without distracting from the freshness of the original made form. I will produce of glaze and fireing techniques using different clays and slips to find a solution.

 I will need to look into what materials can be used to create boxes and containers. To work with wood, plastic and clay and to look how technologies such as laser cutting and rastering can help develop these ideas. To see how the material can contrast with the clay both in colour and feel.

Intended outcomes of project tended outcomes of project
 I intend to create a range of multiple vessel pieces displayed in a number of ways. Some will be displayed in boxes to form patterns on as a wall piece and others will be displayed in containers. These boxes and containers may be clay either thrown or slabbed as well as the use of materials such as wood. These will make use of different contrasting surfaces both through use of materials such as porcelain or in a contrast of firing techniques.  
Student signature   Date: 29/11/11
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