University of Tasmania
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Translating virtual architectures into ceramic form: experiments in clay slip

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posted on 2023-05-27, 09:52 authored by Brough, SK
I work with clay at the intersection of three defined constructed spaces: decorative expression, technological triumphs and functional applications. The manipulation of surfaces leads to decorative expression, and it is only through understanding the particular behaviors of clay and attention to process that technological success may be achieved. The functional applications afforded by the materiality of clay are many and varied: of particular relevance to this project was the application of clay slip, for its synergies with line, fluidity, and expressive potential. Central to the project's aims was the particular technique of fluid pouring processes as a method of translating the schematics and geometric mapping systems prevalent in computer aided modes of object design and 3D modeling programs, into material form. Methodologies developed from both hand and computer-aided drawing informed these fluid pouring processes that deposited slip by using layering, slicing, merging, drawing, depositing, building and exposing architectural structures. The interpretation and adaption of these methodologies prompted me to respond and deviate from computer generated drawings as a way of investigating the dialogue between structure and surface within the field of ceramics. A high value was placed on material processes, expression and intuition. This manifested into the development of a controlled application of clay slips of differing viscosities to essentially draw an object into form from the ground up, comparable to the way in which current 3D printers construct form in slices and layers, or how some organic life forms, coral for example, deposit calcium as they expand their colony. The designers, architects, and artists who provide the relevant context for this research include Andrew Kudless, and Lab Architects, who employ various technologies to enhance object design. Their manufactured surfaces also evoke qualities of other matter, extending bold aspirations for what is possible in the constructed sphere. In contrast, ceramic artists Kenji Uranishi and Rebecca Catterall create objects that are pared back and expose an inner and outer structure. In diverging from attempts to generate or replicate design objects, the experiments carried out aimed instead at extending the vernacular of slip trailing through embracing error as a means of generating unique form. The outcome was a series of experimental objects created with clay slip, which interweaved aspects of digital technology and material processes. These responses produced this series of speculative forms.


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Copyright 2015 the author

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