Visible Mending

Since returning from Ghent I have been spending a lot of time in the Ceramic Dept doing lots more experiments with Slip & Dip. As you have seen in my previous posts, my research for this project centres around mending. So I taken it upon myself to create visible mends in porcelain, which is proving not such an easy task, due to my limited knowledge of the material.

My experimentations involves horsehair fabric, wire and porcelain slip. Below are some examples of the flat  porcelain pieces showing various stitching, mending and darning techniques. I love how the wire oxidises; the contrast against the white porcelain is beautiful.

Flat Slip & Dip Porcelain Sampling with wire

Flat Slip & Dip Porcelain Sampling with wire

Some other sampling included imprinting the porcelain with the fabric. I poured slip directly on the fabric to achieve this result

Horsehair fabric imprint

Horsehair fabric imprint

These samples got me thinking about taking this into 3D. If can imprint the clay in flat pieces, could I not make a stitched fabric mould  to form a 3d shape.

Stitched horsehair fabric moulds

Stitched horsehair fabric moulds

My hope was the fabric would burn away in the kiln, leaving an imprint of the fabric on the outside and the wire stitch marks in place. You can see the results, below right….unfortunately they cracked. Why?? I’m not quite sure, maybe they were too thin…maybe the clay stuck to the mould so when it shrank it cracked.  I was however impressed with my flat works and and the stitch marks so this is something I will continue to play with.

visible mending in porcelain

visible mending in porcelain

I had a meeting with Anna at John Boyd last week. During which I showed her my progress so far which she seemed impressed by but her one criticism was that I was not showing the horsehair to it’s full potential. Totally understandable as I am just burning it away; I could in fact be using any fabric to make the work. Straight away my head was in problem solving mode….what other materials could I use where a kiln is not required? How could I use the horsehair differently? My solution…..Concrete!

Concrete & horsehair bowl

Concrete & horsehair bowl

Aswell as inlaying the concrete with horsehair,  I have also been looking at ways to creating visible mending  and stitching in bowls, see below

Visible Stitching in Bowls

Visible Stitching in Bowls

I would like to find a way to stitch and inlay; more experimenting is necessary.

With not much time left on the residency, I have started to think about our final show at the Pink Cabbage Gallery in Stroud from the 31th May-13th June, more details here. I have  been doing a lot of experimenting, and it’s time to start thinking about a final piece. How can I bring all these experiments together? What route am I going to take? Investigation time is up…it’s time to produce.

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