Learning Agreement 5

Learning Agreement 5


Name David Finnegan
MA Course Title MA Ceramics
Status (F/T or P/T) P/T Year 2
Date 18/01/16
Version No.: 5
Brief explanation/ outline of project
I am attracted by the ethereal beauty of translucent porcelain. I intend to explore what is known about the aesthetic aspects of the material, how to maximise this property, how to use it to enhance the appearance of made objects and how to understand responses to it. I am curious about the combination of translucent porcelain with other materials such as oxides and glazes, glass, metals and lustres and also in developing printing on the clay sheets, which are so thin that they can almost be considered as paper. I want to develop an area of practice related to and learning from that of others, taking inspiration from natural processes and resulting in a variety of different sorts of objects. These may be vessels, structures, sculptures, lighting, ornaments or personal decoration. I want to explore how to maintain the structural integrity of extremely thin objects when fired to high temperatures. I recognise the need to develop my own individual style of formation and decoration.
Context / Rationale
The translucency of porcelain has been well explored in the studio pottery tradition. Less well explored have been the reasons why potters choose to use translucency as an aesthetic expression and what it means to them personally. I planned to survey as many as possible of those who use translucency to explore this aspect of their work.
Key areas of Research / Key Activities
a)   Review of the literature, both material science and artistic. Complete

b)   Create database of main ceramic artists working with translucent porcelain. Complete

c)   Contact with them, through interview, discussion +/- survey. Statistical discussion suggests the outcomes will be best reviewed impressionistically rather than mathematically, in view of the relatively small numbers involved. Complete for uk via Survey Monkey. Poor response rate (4/14, 2 incomplete) 

d)   Exploration of aesthetic and practical commonalities and differences and summary of findings. Not possible because insufficient replies

e)    Survey abandoned as assignment (2.) 3 Artists interviewed. Decided to concentrate on practice rather than survey

f)   Develop the techniques I use in my own work with rolled porcelain paper clay (ppc) and the combination of ppc slip and fibreglass. Consider use of pure porcelain, parian or bone china slips. Explore circumstances in which particular slips might be chosen. Ongoing

g)   Explore printing techniques and combinations with oxides, glazes, metal and glass. Ongoing

h)   Explore display, support and illumination techniques using metal, wood, acrylic, free standing and wall mounted systems – Ongoing

i)    Explore methods of display and illumination. Ongoing

j)    Plan Final show involving a large installation of free hanging, illuminated porcelain or bone china – Ongoing


Intended outcomes of project

1.     Development of my knowledge base and skills in relation to the production of translucent porcelain work

2.     Work will include ceramics alone, plain and decorated, and in combination with other materials in relation to colour, shape, display and illumination.

3.    Develop my own individual and recognisable style of work