A Change of Projects

With only a few weeks left before our final deadline, I’ve come to realise that perhaps one of my projects needs re-thinking…

Roman ring key example

Originally I had intended to create ‘wearable keys’ that would incorporate lock and key technology with jewellery, similar to that of the Roman ring keys. To do this I would need to educate myself on the various advanced locking systems before I could even begin designing anything and I know I’m not going to be able to do both and then finish making it within the remaining time scale. There is also an essay that I need to do, along with finishing off and blogging about my 2 other projects. It is simply not realistic to start this now.

Based on the mentioned issues, I’ve come to the decision that I need to scrap this idea, or at least put it on hold for a later project.

Following my experience at La Perdrix I’ve become particularly interested in portraiture and clay sculpture; I feel like this would be a great option to pursue for the remaining term.
In comparison to bronze casting, the process’s involved aren’t very time consuming. I also won’t have to largely rely on the workshops being open to proceed with the making, using only the kilns and potentially the glaze room. The one issue I see with this project is that I feel like I need something to explore within the theme of portraiture, but hopefully that will come fairly quickly once I start thinking through ideas and researching artists.

To support this project I have started a new sketchbook in which I have been drawing my fellow course mates and friends. I’m quite against drawing random strangers in regards to this project. I suppose this is because I want the faces to be recognised by people and bring about some kind of connection as it’s mainly the people involved in my course that will be viewing the drawings anyway.
I’m not against self-portraiture but transitioning this to a 3D sculpture could prove to be difficult as I would be mainly relying on 2D sources to view myself. Although if necessary, 3D scanning could help with this to some degree.

So far, the majority of the drawings I have done have been fairly expressive. I often struggle with focussing too much on trying to make a drawing look ‘perfect’; however I tried to refrain from doing this by limiting the time allocated on each drawing, this ranged from around 10 seconds to 2 minutes. I also experimented with continuous line and not looking at the page throughout the drawing process. Below are a few of my drawings;

In retrospect I think the main reason I’ve been doing this is because I no longer see the value in creating hyper-realistic images. Whilst I think it’s a great skill to have, I fail to see the point in replicating the eye’s view if it’s anything more than just a drawing exercise. Why create something that doesn’t allow the viewer to experience the subject in a new way? If it’s going to look like a photograph, why not simply use a photograph? It seems that the general consensus of anyone outside of the art community is, a drawing or painting is immediately valued highly if it looks exactly like the thing it represents; I think I’ve finally gotten fed up of it.
Whilst I want my images to be somewhat recognisable, I also want there to be some debate created through the limited and gestural lines. Translating these images into 3D sculptures with the same degree of gesture could prove to be difficult so I may need to tone them down slightly when it comes to putting them into practise.

I’m not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to types of clay but the ones that I am most interested in using are the denser looking clays such as terracotta or anything darker; Raku clays are also a good option. These types of clay have always been more aesthetically pleasing to me as they create a much rawer impression of the artist’s building methods. I also feel that they don’t need as much glaze application as the colour of clay seems to almost speak for itself.

After discussing my thoughts on the sculpture that I made in La Perdrix, it’s clear to me now that I want the void in the back of the head to be a key feature in my sculptures. Perhaps something could be placed or built inside the head? Only to be viewed by those willing to actually look past the initial facial construct and peer into the back.


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