The field module this year was generally challenging, on multiple levels.
Initially, working together on a shared project with a group of peers (who were yet essentially strangers from different departments within the Art School) in the days following the Future Generations Field festival was very stressful, not to mention the two intense days of lectures which made up that Conference itself (which tired me out to the point where I had to rest for a couple of days before I could get back to work…). Working as a team worked out well for my group, and I was glad to be a solid part of the planning and ideas stage of the project. We worked on the Invisible Cities theme. I was proud to be a part of a team with a concept, a schedule to keep to, and a finished product delivered on time, and to our own satisfaction.
Regarding the Tea for Two project, the posts of which are under the unassuming label of “TX2” here on my blog, I found working in a pair put me under far less pressure than I had found in a larger team earlier. Lucy and I made a tea set which was slightly unusual, our teapot instead a large lidded jar with a deep ladle-like spoon. The glaze did not come out as anticipated, except for where it had been sprayed on more thickly, and this was undoubtedly due to our spraying the vessels only very lightly with the spray-gun, in order to protect the visibility of the thin lines I had meticulously and slowly drawn in black iron oxide onto the surface.
As for the work I produced in response to Field, and to the Tx2 project itself, my shallow raku fired bowls are my reply. In the same vein as Summer Tea-bowls, they have a large surface area to allow for tea to cool, yet are informed by my interest in surface, texture, form, and touch (as highlighted in my Statement of Intent). The outside of the bowl is half rough (with the original surface of the fired raku clay), half smooth (an area which is covered with glaze). Originally intending for the bowls to be fired in the naked raku style, like a pair I had previously made, I instead purposefully applied only a couple of thin layers of resist slip, followed by a single layer of resist glaze. I carved different patterns into the layers of only slip and the layers which included the glaze, which made for different levels of texture both visual and haptic. I greatly enjoyed making the bowls as the raku clay itself can be subjected to a lot of stretching, and still remains a solid choice for a bowl material. I can’t wait to make more.