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Developing larger figures: starting off point

I have finally summoned up the oomph to start working on the development of the figures I want to decorate. This is leading on from work I started in preparation before starting on this MA. I did a whole set of drawings of different figures and chose one to make in clay ahead of starting my MA. I was hoping that this would give me a direction from the very start.

I chose this one as I liked the relative simplicity of shape. However, I didn't want it to look at cute. I tried to develop this figure further by doing some sketches translating a rather 2-dimensional drawing into a 3-dimensional shape.

I made this figure out of six pinch pots made from porcelain paper clay and then subsequently decorated with underglazes and a clear stoneware glaze fired in oxidation.

This is a good starting point. However, I think this is too much like a figurine. I want to develop it further so that it isn't as representational and introduce much more ambiguity into it's shape.

Then I made a series of sketches trying to develop this figure further. But I found that I feel rather limited by trying to think through 3-dimensional figures in a 2-dimensional way of drawing. Based on these, I started on a series of small clay marquettes trying to develop more ambiguous shapes.

Two of these shapes have some promise. However, I decided to go back to my very first original drawing and model my marquette on that.

I think this is a form I can work with as it has enough detail and variation for my purpose but is also vague enough to not be too suggestive or restrictive. I should be able to change its position and give it a new meaning by adding my decorations. The aim of this will be to develop a shape that I can replicate without it being fixed in meaning or positioning, i.e. not definitive top or bottom.

Making some sketches of this marquette helps me:

  • to look at it more closely so that I familiarise myself with it even more with it.

  • to check whether it hold my interest when looked at from different angles and positioning.

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