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At what stage during the making process do you insert the personal? | May 1, 2012


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#1 DPancioli

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:18 PM

At what stage during the ceramic making process do you insert the personal?

I have noticed that I am often intrigued by others' work that is made personal at a completely different stage than mine.

It may be that our work process is implanted by our teachers, and we don't realize that there are other ways to do things than the ways we were taught.

Some potters make the work personal early in the process, during the construction stage, and then again at a number of stages throughout the process.

What is your process? How did it develop?


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#2 Frederik-W

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:17 AM

I think it depends on the type of work you do.

If you make free-hand/sculptural objects you put your personal stamp on the work very much from the beginning.
When people spin a pot or bowl on a wheel it often looks very much like any other, until it is decorated or fired.
Of course I am generalising but there is definitely a difference in the way these different type of objects become "personalised".


#3 Deanna@AtlantaClay

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:32 PM

I agree - as a handbuilder I would say the personal comes in after rolling the slab but it is interesting to give people you are teaching a theme and see how different each artist's visual reference or framework for that object is. It is also fun to watch what develops after people attend an artist's workshop to see how they take the technique they are learning and run with it in their work.
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#4 Idaho Potter

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:01 PM

I agree with Frederik, Sculpture is personal as soon as I open the bag of clay. To me it is translating an idea which resides only in my mind into a three-dimensional object that hopefully gets into someone else's mind. My wheel work starts to become personal as I put the final rim on the piece and definitely as I apply underglazes.

#5 Denice

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:25 AM

I make my work personal before I open the bag of clay, I get and idea for a piece and sit down and sketch it several times before I start it. I am a hand builder and this saves me a lot of time and the work usually come out pretty close to the final drawing. Denice

#6 Idaho Potter

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:36 PM

Denice, wish I could draw my ideas like you. I can write descriptive prose to express what I feel and envision, but once I draw the work, my creative juices run dry. This was a problem in college classes because we were frequently asked to draw the sculpture with front, back, and top views. The only way I could turn in those drawings was to make the piece (usually in plastacine for wood stone or welded, and wax for bronze) and then use the maquette or finished wax as subject matter for a drawing. I know that's backwards, but it kept my enthusiasm for the piece going.

#7 Denice

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:18 PM

Denice, wish I could draw my ideas like you. I can write descriptive prose to express what I feel and envision, but once I draw the work, my creative juices run dry. This was a problem in college classes because we were frequently asked to draw the sculpture with front, back, and top views. The only way I could turn in those drawings was to make the piece (usually in plastacine for wood stone or welded, and wax for bronze) and then use the maquette or finished wax as subject matter for a drawing. I know that's backwards, but it kept my enthusiasm for the piece going.


I wouldn't claim to be great at drawing and I didn't like having to sketch my ideas first and have them approved by my professor before I could start. But after doing it for a while I found that I was working out design problems on paper instead of time sensitive clay. Your maquettes was your way of sketching and working out any design issues a head of time and probably is the best way to go with sculpture anyways. Denice




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