making day: landscape and 3d processes contd.

context of this post: this making day, as well as other days spend exploring clay, plaster and 3d processes was an important part of the process leading to my video work ‘ i shiver and i shit’ which i submit for assessment as well as a sample of the clay work ‘saucer’. 3d processes became a way of allowing me to make connections between landscapes; indoor and outdoor, real and ideal, body and material, material and idea – all related to landscape and gender. these processes continue….

overview: after a few days exploring landscape and gender through lens based work i want to get back 3d processes and continue my exploration through physical material and making – again similarly disrupting binaries of inside & outside, domestic & great outdoors, multiple views/gaze etc as i did with lens based work.

reflection: i wonder if my 3d processes will lead me back to lens based work? maybe it is part of my enquiry rather than an end product? taking on 3d processes has been one of the challenges i have set myself in order to see what place object or material based processes have in my practice  – are they things in themselves or part of my lens-based processes and enquiry? are they a way of linking gendered spheres of activity – objects linking a domestic landscape and an outdoor landscape? getting back to hands on material feels like it’s a way to work through my questions yet can also become a little frustrating by my lack of finesse and clunky methods … maybe that is part of my exploration of landscape and gender – real body in a real landscape  – real hands with real materials with aspirations for ideals.

outline plan for making day: i have many molds ready to cast today and i also have a few new molds i want to make so in no particular order – 1: make molds for tea set clothed 2: slip cast double beaker. 3: slip cast wool molds. 4: make a mold of another double form maybe bowl of cup with 2 handles. 5: slab build forms based on collected wood or rocks with handles.

preparation: spent today preparing the tea set for mold making.


impetus: i was looking at a tea set that mum had and was interested in the little delicate picture of sprigs of flowers – something of the outside, nature, on these domestic objects, objects of service and decorum. these elements of a very stylised landscape seemed to link with what i have been exploring relating to real and romantic landscapes. without knowing exactly why i asked to borrow them. in taking them i had to protect them in my backpack as i walked back home so i wrapped them in paper for the journey.

something about the tea set being wrapped for the journey outdoors seems to connect with the ideas i have been exploring about real and romantic landscapes and my weather forecast recordings so i set about wrapping the cups in clothes. i did some test rubbings of different clothes fabrics and found the cotton knit seemed to give great texture.

i also picked these rocks up from one of my many walks in the woods last week and was thinking of using their forms to make some kind of tea set and place back in the landscape once fired… or maybe leave unfired?

some previous molds to be cast: wool, double beaker and halved milk carton

so lots to do on making day tomorrow….

…….start of making day.

i made my molds of the wrapped tea set. as usual finding the right container to minimise the plaster making was hardest part. i’ll let it set for 30 mins or so. not sure that the jug or saucer will be embedded in the plaster to show a shape.

starting slip casting ….

need to mix the porcelain slip a lot as it has been sitting for a long time but it pours so silky. i think i’ll give it 20 mins and see how that goes before pouring out. probably should have done them at separate times.

20 mins later – timing is good for beaker but might have needed longer for the wool molds as only a thin layer of porcelain set on the wool.

starting to take out the objects and take a look at the tea set molds.

looking quite abstract but looking forward to casting in a few days when the molds are dry.

reflection: i was talking about bringing the wrapped / clothed tea set back to the landscape. i could i try not firing them and let them dissolve in the landscape? i could try a local clay of the landscape / area? could i try dipping the clothes into the slip? and then wrap the tea set?

question: what would make the day successful? maybe try to get the jug out of the mold for a start! no, the day would be successful if i get the molds made of the wrapped/clothed tea set and if i started thinking about something with the rocks. i always think a day is successful if i have some idea what i’m going to do next.

so where next? to answer what i might do next…. redo the molds of jug and saucer. maybe try and source a local clay. maybe thing about not firing and let the work dissolve. also look at the dance work by sabrina davis? and think about a stop image video work of work with water in the unfired clay.

making day continued….

i think i’ll work for another couple of hours. big tidy up first then continue mold making; remake saucer and jug (very little plaster left) and then some slab work of rock forms  maybe with with handles.

remaking of jug and saucer molds. i hope the plaster sets as it is still a bit mushy and i had very little plaster left. i also hope the saucer mold’s undercut won’t prevent me taking the cast out.

feeling good as have the entire set of molds made. good textures on the molds so should transfer to clay casts. will cast at end of week and now i don’t feel the same pressure to try and fire and glaze them if i am going to possibly let them weather and dissolve them in the landscape.

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going to explore the rocks i took from the woods in gortussa. was thinking of making molds but i like the idea i just add handles to their forms. using magma white clay but i think there are other options that might suit better (again a local clay or (terracotta?).

best way to form the handles is on a outline drawing of handle rather than the handle itself as it distorts when i take it off.

i like how they are shaping up, think they will be interesting to see back in the landscape from where i took them. i would like to get a clay for the handles that is closer in colour to the rocks colour – i’ll try terracotta. and id like to stick them to the rocks with clay itself but i might have to use glue. last thing on the agenda for today – make a few terracotta handles also.

terracotta clay is a great colour when wet against the rocks and as its very soft it might dissolve and weather quicker than other clays, leaving a rusty brown stain on the landscape when it rains, like the colours  of minerals in the little stream in the woods.

reflection: has my day been successful and how do i know if it has? if success is getting lots done then yes it has been successful and i managed to get most of my list of things to do done and as i had prepared my tea set yesterday then i was ready to go today. but the reason i feel it has been successful is because i have a next step in mind ie. casting the molds and considering not firing them as a way to allow the landscape to take over when i put them back. i also think, while the handles are not perfect, they are odd against the rocks which i find an interesting dynamic between inside/outside, domestic/landscape. and if my aim was to explore 3d processes and get messy then definitely successful as a major tidy up is now due…. and not forgetting the reason for my making …. making connections: landscapes, landscape and gender, real and ideal, body and idea …. i really want to try and source some local clay, maybe i could go digging myself.

postscript: over many sessions i explored (and struggled) with clays and making methods and eventually ended up making a tea-set with a mixture of slab work (for texture) within molds (for shape). i used white magma clay because when i can’t decide a colour in anything i always go with either black or white and magma dries white. after doing my video ‘i shiver and i shit’ with real clay this magma piece seems so alien in this or any landscape. anyway i put them back in the landscape to see them in context. on any given day the landscape is what it is and on this day was full of the joys of summer – sunny, flowering and … nice day for flies. at least the camera work rough and ready!




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