Figurative Modelling – 500 word feedback

Overall I really enjoyed this Field option. I thought it was well structured with a clear timetable explaining what was happening each week and what was expected of us. We even had artists coming in to specifically talk to us about our work and their own, as well as giving technical demonstrations.
Whilst we were asked to make specific things, such as “a pair of legs” or “a sculpture based on Henry VIII or his wives” it was more about learning new processes and methods of working with clay. I particularly enjoyed the combustibles workshop, filling sewn fabric with plaster and creating the legs from slabs and dress patterns; all of these were completely new techniques to me that I didn’t even know were possible beforehand and opened up so many new possibilities. We hadn’t even gotten to the firing stage and I was already overwhelmed by what could be achieved through just ceramics alone.

The one aspect of the project that I felt was less successful was being put into groups for the final exhibition. While I did like the overall outcomes and exhibition, I felt like members of the group weren’t pulling their weight nor did they really have any work to contribute to the exhibition, so I felt like I had to pick up a lot of slack. Also, I would have liked to have had more practical workshops with Claire Curneen which were actually scheduled but due to understandable circumstances she couldn’t attend.

The transition between 2D and 3D work was really interesting and well thought out. Most days we began in the life drawing room where we were directed by Natasha Mayo, exploring new pathways and ways of looking. We would then use these drawings as reference points for our practical sculpting sessions. The boundaries between 2D and 3D were constantly blurred, most work entered a new ‘2.5D’ realm.
I discovered my passion for ceramics and would really like to further explore coloured slips and the technique of sgraffito. I’ve always been interested in drawing and illustration but was never really happy with a final outcome being on just paper, I now think that ceramics could be the link that I have been missing that will help elevate my drawings that much higher. I intend to go on and develop my knowledge of slips in order to create my own selection of colours that I can apply to a body of clay. I feel much more comfortable using slips over glazes as I am able to have a better indication of what they will look like after firing and I can use them a lot more painterly, even mixing the colours to create new tones.

I’d also like to continue going to life drawing sessions as it’s something that I hadn’t done since Foundation.


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