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Assessment of work by our tutors - a gut reaction

So, we've reached the end of our second semester of our two-year MA course. This means we had to presents the work we've done since beginning of January. We were judged on our learning agreement, our blog and our actual work. Dave and Anna looked at our work and had a brief discussion with us individually. It wasn't really any different from what I'd expected, i.e. looking at the work accompanied by a discussion about what we think works, what doesn't work and why and, based on this, what parts to take forward and which not to further pursue.

As expected, my assessment went rather well, I think. Nevertheless, the whole process left me feeling a bit flat and deflated. But why? Was it just because I spent a long time waiting around to be seen as one of the last students at the end of day? Nah but I did noticed that my emotional and rational responses to this experience are just not in sync. I have worked so hard during the last months that seeing it all assembled together for the first time somehow didn't give me the sense of achievement I was hoping for. I am missing the the emotional lollypop and well-done pat on the back. How very needy is that!

Intellectually I know that there are plenty of areas of improvement and that we are still really early on in our MA. The fact that there is so much scope to take my work forward should be an exciting prospect. So, I will process Dave and Anna's critique and see for myself what I will take on board and how I respond to it. As far as I understood they are less keen on my more graphic flat surface designs. And probably they are right. I have to be aware I may run the risk of producing flat and dead surfaces. I've already thought I may want to rethink how I utilise the different qualities of glazes as part of my surfaces in order to add some painterly qualities. Other suggestions were to try out a different way of integrating to my research into how other cultures have used decorations on their pottery. Dave suggested it would be interesting to transpose these traditional decorations to my non-traditional figures. For example, I could copy the monochrome burnished qualities found in some pueblo pots such as used by Maria Martinez:

Or carvings found on Chinese or Japanese pottery which use a traditional celadon glaze and apply them to my non-traditional amorphous figures.

Chinese Langquan celadon vase

They also suggested that I should consider elongating parts of my figures so that they wouldn't feel as contained. I guess, this would add a different dynamic through shape. I will definitely go back to making a few more marquettes to explore this.

There is a lot to think about but now it is time to take a little break, which I will do at the end of next week, to refresh myself and return with a fresh view.

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