Tester Porcelain Pieces

So some of my tester porcelain pieces came out of the kiln last week and I wanted to experiment with displaying them… I’m veering towards an installation when visualising my final piece, but I am still exploring different avenues… Why am I sculpting with porcelain? Well, it’s quite a precious material and I want to play on that. Hundreds of years ago the process of making porcelain was China’s best kept secret, merchants from all corners of the worlds would flock to Asia hoping to buy some of this exquisite material… The air of mystery that surrounded it links to the wonders about the human brain: we can only truly speculate about our brains, MRI scans provide a layer of answers but not all, only once one has died can we look at the anatomy of the brain, but of course, its energy has been passed on, so in effect we’re just analysing a shell, something that once was…


Experimenting by placing the ‘chopped up’ porcelain in different ways… I like the shadows cast behind it and that it looks a bit like a spine!


All the bits after I chopped a serpentine-like chunk of clay up with scissors. I then pierced holes in them so I could test out more things I could do with them!


So after putting the pieces on wire, my hands immediately wrapped the chain around my wrist… since making jewellery is another interest of mine I am always interested in placement of ceramics on the body and how it can be worn, wearing a pieced brings a very unique dynamic to it.


Exploration of porcelain piece maquettes


Hanging the porcelain chunks inside a shoe box which has painted white inside. I needed to show my visualisation of a potential installation and a Vans shoe box was just looking at me, so..


As you can tell, the blue metallic acrylic draws your eyes immediately to that area of the box. Then you may notice it’s globular shape (it’s more ‘squishy’ and less angular than the others), and it is the odd one out, the tension.

I made sure with my porcelain piece maquettes to push holes through them as this would give me more opportunities  to experiment. The more I think about it, the more I want to put forward the idea of an installation. Obviously the time scale I have would not enable me to create such large pieces to place in a room (as I would want them to be large, large enough that people would worry about them falling on their feet, or to trip over!), but I’m still exploring this as I don’t want to limit myself. In the future I can make these fantastical large chunks of abstract wonderfulness!


Tipping the box on it’s side. I really like the shadows in this one. The pieces all look rather awkward and on edge, a vibe I want to put across, but only from a few of the chunks, not all of them. After all I want some of them to show the fluidity of the human body- synchroncity. And the blue ‘blob’- yep, that’s the technical term for it!- will be the uncomfortable, disturbing brain abscess.

Positive Negative: Shapes, Sketches, Ideas

IMG_1597 I know I want to make a wavy shape with porcelain, just like this shape I created in my sketchbook using acrylics, newspaper and masking tape… I want to show fluidity, just how our thoughts in our brain link together, how the movements we make, our autonomy- is guided by a network of nerves. This is the ‘positive’.
So what’s the negative? The tension which disturbs the flow, a ball of mess, hands clenching, tightness… These are my visualisations of tension.


Mum made an interesting point to me, she said how currently, Dad’s MRI scan shows where the abscess used to be now looks like “a watermark on material” so I wanted to explore this visually in my sketchbook, using brusho.
The shape I want to create resembles water being swept to the side of a your car front window during heavy rainfall. It gets pushed, then the windscreen wipers pull the water back towards the centre. All in perfect synchronicity. as the shapes captured of the brain by MRI scans remind me of the sycnhonocitty of water: the globular drops of rain and especially rainfall on windscreens!!!

Rain on the windscreen

Rain on the windscreen


Marc Quinn

Marc Quinn is probably most well known for his piece Self, which he exhibited in The Royal Academy of Arts’ Sensation show. It was a collection of work owned by Charles Saatchi. What was Self? Quinn made a sculpture by freezing 8 pints of his own blood in the shape of his own head. It took him 5 months to complete as he had to ‘collect’ his blood. He makes a new Self every 5 years. Self comments on the fragility of life: during exhibitions of Self, the art must be retained in a ‘freezing’ atmosphere, otherwise it would simply melt away…

But interestingly enough, I first learnt about Marc Quinn whilst flicking through Harper’s Bazaar magazine! Last season’s collections from fashion houses such as Chanel and Celine make references to Abstract Expressionism and the Contemporaries. In the March 2014 edition of Harper’s Bazaar; Play to the Gallery by Tom Allen shows clothes modelled in Marc Quinn’s studio. I am particularly intrigued by his Chromatic Labyrinth paintings. I just loved the linear quality of them and the contrast of colours and texture between each layer. It was only when I looked at the whole collection on Quinn’s website that I realised they were based on finger prints! This relates nicely to what I’m drawing from- dad’s brain scans. There won’t be another scan which will show the same image- much like we have layers of skin which make up our fingerprints, it takes layers of scans to realise the whole picture of the brain. Out of context, fingerprints and brain imagery produces very abstract shapes.





Funny Shapes

These funny shapes evolved from squeezing clay and slicing it up. It’s purpose? To cross reference tension: showing the space it consumes and the forms it creates. Inspired by the globular images of my dad’s MRI scans and the whole idea of this abscess causing tension and taking up space in his brain.
I experimented with arranging these slices differently.
Some how MRI scans would be displayed- in row- not dissimilar to specimens displayed in a museum. I stacked them, hung them, coloured them in, drew around them:creating patterns. I wanted to (and still am) explore all the different avenues: I’m  pushing my project as far as it will go, then the fine tuning will commence.










Regularity vs Spontaneousness

So I’m now focusing on my positive negative project, which I’m really enjoying. I’m exploring the regularity of linear structures vs the spontaneous nature of tension.




Dad’s Brain! The leading inspiration for my project…

The pictures above are notes from my journal… have a read! More posts to follow!