University of Tasmania
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Production values : re-discovering the hand in making

posted on 2023-05-26, 19:16 authored by Mardon, S
The versatility of clay lends itself to many applications and therefore, modes of ceramic production. With applications ranging from tableware, to sculpture and architecture, its history is deeply rooted in both tradition and industry. As a material, ceramic presents itself as the ideal medium with which to open up a discourse between these two areas, with particular focus on the qualities and corresponding values of the hand-made and machine-made object. The industrial revolution marked the separation of the hand from the making process. The changes in the method, scope, and scale of production are reflected in the objects and structures in our manufactured environment. In comparison, the hand-produced object is different from the industrial product, differently conceived, differently made, differently used. The values associated with the hand-made and hand skills have also changed in line with advances in technology. While industry may de-value the hand in making, there are qualities that resonate with us us they are inherently human. The questions underlying this research respond to the perceived loss of these qualities through a diminished relationship to materials and the making process. As consumers, we are also removed from the process due to systems of manufacture that are invisible to us, and through the removal of any visible character of the material or sign of the hand. The process is visible in the hand-made, however, in the traces left by the hand. This provides a connection to the object through an understanding of how it is made. The research involves a theoretical and practical investigation of ideas relating to the production of both hand and machine made objects. These ideas will be presented within a conceptual framework, with consideration towards functional applications. The practical component of the research explores the potential translation of hand-made qualities to the manufactured object. The outcomes suggest that we can reconnect the hand and mind with object making, by bringing attention to the 'material' qualities inherent in objects, and the sign of the hand, or machine, as an indication of process.


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Copyright 2007 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). CD-ROM contains Appendix: documentation of MFA exhibition. Thesis (MFA)--University of Tasmania, 2007. Includes bibliographical references. Introduction -- Ch. 1. Industrial evolution -- Ch. 2. Manufactured perfection -- Ch. 3. Manufactured imperfection -- Concluding remarks

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