108 Vajras – Ceramic

On a personal level – the first time that I saw a Vajra there was immediately a feeling of recognition and fascination, as though it was something so familiar and natural to me. I love the form so much I had to make my own; to explore my own fascination in the form, and to find out what it means to me.

On a design level – the form is so complicated and detailed, that learning to produce one, in any given material, and with any given production technique, is such a challenge that it requires a certain level of mastery in the craft of the material or technique used to produce it.

I decided to challenge my self to produce 108 unique Vajras, using different materials and different craft techniques.

I did this because I want to find out how the form’s meaning can change when it is produced in a different material or by a different technique. And I want to challenge myself to attain proficiency in the use of a diversity of materials and crafts. The experience in the use of different materials and techniques I would attain can only help empower me as a designer to be better able to decide which material and technique to apply for a certain object or space.

Technique: Press-Moulding          Material: White Clay

The final Vajra of the series uses a combination of transparent, white, and puff glazes because I felt this finish most expressed the identity of White Clay as a material. To express the charm of the making process I wanted to leave the imperfection in it, for example where the press -moulded sections didn’t quite align, or didn’t quite bind together. I wanted to show signs of how the Vajra was produced – I felt the rough edges left from the press-moulding process should go untouched to honour the humble hand-making process.

Further Process:

I am unsatisfied with how glazes seem to float on top of the ceramic without really integrating. Taking the research further I would experiment with raku, press-moulding marbled or layered pigmented slip clay, using powdered-pigment as a release agent in the press moulding-process, and using layered dip glazes, as well as mixing my own clays with various fibres, grits, semi-precious stones, and oxides.

 

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