Sorry this is late posting. had some technical issues with email. 🙂 enjoy.
Project 1 Proposal: Space
For my project with the central theme of space I will be creating pottery lanterns. I am interested in the way that lanterns create a harmonious feeling within the space they are placed as well as how the negative space within the vessel is transformed by light. By placing light in a vessel and allowing it to pass through you allow the vessel to occupy a larger amount of space then would otherwise be possible.
A lanterns function historically was to provide enough light to see in a space that would otherwise be too dark. However in our modern society the use of lanterns has changed. We now use lanterns to add an ambiance to a space for personal, religious or cultural purposes. The research I will conduct will be primarily focused on the cultural use of lanterns and ways they transform a space based on the intention to use them for a nostalgic lighting effect. I will be investigating the shapes and patterns used in ceramic lanterns as well as how this has been used to create an atmosphere in surrounding space. I will also be researching the significance of these shapes in different cultures, religions and folk traditions.
The first step in creating this project will be throwing two cylinders of equal proportion and binding them together at the lip. This will create a closed, but vertical form that I otherwise may not be able to accomplish with my throwing skills. Details in the silhouette of the final form will be decided after more preliminary sketches. A lid will be fashioned for the top and the bottom will be trimmed with a significant foot. I will be doing a large amount of carving out of the walls and the lid of the piece to allow light to shine through. The clay I will be using is porcelain due to its translucent qualities and its unique reaction to light. The pottery will be fired in an electric kiln because I will be able to have the most control over how the surface will look.
The specific designs for these carvings have not been decided however I have been interested in using motifs from Celtic knots. I am interested in using these motifs because the patterns would create interesting and involved carving on a ceramic surface. Celtic knots and patterns also use positive and negative space in an interesting way that I have not used in carving ceramics before. These patterns are also significant to my ancestry as I am of Irish and Scottish decent. This aspect of my project also will narrow the immense topic of space to become more personal to me as an artist.
This project is an opportunity for me to explore ideas in negative and positive space in the realms of pottery and also as a means to explore my cultural identity with the pottery I create. I am interested in creating work that is primarily visually pleasing and shows the level of my skills with ceramics. With this project I am looking to improve my abilities and also explore their limits.
The piece I will be creating will be destined for a gallery setting. The piece will require a corner or a wall where the light from within the lantern can reach a surface to cast a shadow but also not be hidden from view so a minimalist pedestal will be required for it to be at eye level. The space that it will be shown in will need a certain amount of darkness in order for the lighting effect to work.