Friday, December 11, 2015

Pop Couture – Developing the Ceramic Idea and Concept.

This is the first blog entry, in a series, outlining the developing of a new idea / concept in the design and manufacture of a range of ceramic products titled Pop Couture. The ceramic work will take the form and shape of popcorn. 

Presented here are preparatory ballpoint pen renderings and one or two finished drawings, showcasing the development of the form and shape for the manufacture of the ceramic products. The ceramics will be slip cast in porcelain and or bone china and individually decorated to create one-of-a-kind expressive ceramic statement.

As the title suggests the ceramic work will incorporate and make reference to Pop Art and Haute couture.  Two quotes below provide a glimpse into the thinking behind the work and possible creative outcomes. Various books have and will influence my thinking, they include; Art and Authenticity, Thomas Heatherwick MAKING, The Hare with Amber Eyes, Manufractured, Fragiles and Digital Handmade (recently acquired). The specifics of which will be explained in future blog posts.

Pop Art exploded onto the art scene on both sides of the Atlantic in the early 1960s. Suddenly a few artists turned against the long-standing art world aversion to bourgeois culture and liberated the use of popular materials and methods. They recognised that their material image banks and those of their audience, as well, came not from the Bible or Classical myth, or novels and plays, or even history but from films, adverts, television and comics. The works of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein played with references from every day life and fashion to make bold, vibrant art that initiated and artistic revolution during the post-war flowering of a consumer culture , spearheaded by developments in the US. (Bradford R, 2012: end cover).

Haute couture; French for "high sewing" or "high dressmaking" or "high fashion") refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is high-end fashion that is constructed by hand from start to finish, made from high quality, expensive, often unusual fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable sewers, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Couture translates literally from French as "dressmaking" but may also refer to fashion, sewing, or needlework and is also used as a common abbreviation of haute couture and refers to the same thing in spirit. (Wikipedia as cited on 11 December 2015)

The rendered ideas on paper require further investigation, refining of the form and shape from a surface development perspective.  The surface is what will receive major attention in the individually crafted bespoke products. The overall form and shape of the popcorn will remain the same. It is vital that a simplified form and shape be designed (stylised), conducive to a variety of surface development options – either hand painted, digital crafted decals and specially formulated glazes. Various sizes will be created to explore one-of-a-kind ceramic statements and installations (small, medium and large). This will be achieved by modelling the desired form and shape in Y2 modelling Clay. The prototype will then be photographed and scanned, using the latest technology (3D printing), to produce a variety of sizes, end products for moulding and slip casting.

My prime aim and objective will be to create ceramics that celebrates the handmade in a digital age in the context of globalisation. Various surfaces development techniques and methods will be embraced to express myself. In some works I will exploit my own ballpoint pen drawings skills to create one-of-a-kind digitally printed decals on a variety of themes. Hopefully I can capitalise on the latest technology to create authentic ceramic surface techniques in keeping with the title of the works.

Emphasis will be placed on the bespoke, celebrating the handmade. Another idea will be to celebrate the skills of the unknown craftspeople, paying homage to the artisan, in the creation of contemporary ceramic “couture” statements. The details of which will be explored further in future blog posts.

The work will be a return to the design and manufacture of ceramic sculptures, my first love as a student and emerging artist. The envisaged end product falls within the scope of the focus of my creative output in the past few years. I am very happy that the end product will be a ceramic work, in form and shape as well as in the development of appropriate ceramic surfaces.