Repeatable Uniqueness

 

Artist Statement

Within our on-going cultural dialogue between Contemporary Craft and Industry my work explores the dynamic relationships between design, skill, and technology in batch production. I have attempted to combine skill with technology, and merge uniqueness with repeatability to finally marry craft and industrial design in a single production process.

This project is one of the outcomes of trying to combine uniqueness and repeatability in batch production, an effort to transcend the differences of “one-off” craft production and the repeatability of industrial mass production.

I initially researched crystalline glazes as a way to create repeatable randomness. My concept was to apply crystalline glazes to industrial tile blanks to create unique but repeatable ceramic tiles. However finding a flexible producer of industrial tile blanks or rather the hunt for a flexible manager within a ceramic tile factory, turned out to be harder than producing crystals in my crystalline glazes.

I then looked at other techniques to produce repeatable randomness and started to research marbling slip-cast forms.

For the project I employed professional throwers to prototype the original vessel masters, from which I created several moulds to able to cast several of the same vessel at once.

I then created my own reserves of porcelain slip, and using a ratio of approximately 25 grams of stain for a litre of slip I created a selection of coloured slips to marble with. I then fired them to 1210c, just short of full vitrification, to keep the colours from becoming too saturated, while at the same time making the vases water proof.

The vases themselves represent a mutiny in the ceramic workshop. They are have thrown over board the craftsman’s obsession with control and technical perfection that aims at but always misses perfect repeatability. And they have made the monotony of industrial productions perfect repeatability walk the plank. Raw, Honest, Wild; These slip-cast porcelain vessels are neither industrial or craft, they sail free on the open sea loyal to no one.

They are the punks of the ceramic world. They show off the seams of their mould production as well as the traces of their recklessly necked mould reservoirs.

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