As part of my course having tutors and workshop technicians practically as well as vocally showing you how they work with materials and what is the best way to get a desired effect has been invaluable and will hopefully be reflected in my outcomes for this academic year.
Honestly I believe at this stage academically I have learnt so much in so many areas that there is so many things I can do but at the moment in time choosing the best material and technique that will fit this material best is essential as entering a high quality piece of work is essential in all aspects whether it is a competition or not. Throughout Claire Curneen’s workshop I tried to decipher whilst listening to her individual descriptions of the pieces what type of clay they were made from, what glaze had been applied and what firing process had been used to achieve this.
These two examples that I like to call molded wings and praying hands were made through similar processes to the best of my memory but the overall finalization of the piece was created differently. From my understanding the wing pieces were made by rolling shaping and cutting a piece of clay, then molding the feather shape using her hand and placing on top of the clay which is then bisque fired and porcelain cast. As for the hand piece the hands are made from porcelain sculpted by hand and slip is applied to fill the inside then allowed to pour out to create the effect seen and the pattern seen is created through a separate print pattern.
Of all the pieces shown this heart-shaped flower study was my favorite. To be 100 percent honest in regards to both images the process im describing may not be correct but in ceramics you can achieve the same approach through different means. My understanding is that this piece was made by sculpting clay to a heart shape out of Raku to create a hollow shell with the flower pieces added on individually and a black glaze applied to create the color and look seen.
This workshop has further enhanced my interest in understanding what materials can and will not do as well as how materials can be manipulated together within a piece and again why this will can and sometimes wont work. Basically trial and error and always being willing to ask for opinion and guidance will get you to the best quality outcome and level you can achieve as a creative artistic practitioner in your areas of interest.
More examples of the talent and practice of Claire Curneen can be found here