Even rough objects are important and can convey an idea

– use this idea in my work

– don’t get bogged down with perfectionism yet




V&A Contemporary Korean Ceramics – Friday, 19 May 2017 – Sunday, 11 February 2018.

Bringing together the work of fifteen emerging and established artists from Korea, this display offers a glimpse into contemporary Korean studio ceramic practice. Some are inspired by historical Korean ceramics such as inlaid celadons from the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392) or white porcelains of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910). Others experiment with new technologies and alternative materials, or use ceramics as a medium to engage with contemporary issues ranging from mass-consumption and pop culture to the destruction of Korea’s architectural heritage.

Starting on Monday 18 September, one of the pieces on display – an unfired clay house by Kim Juree – will be slowly dissolved in water into a puddle of mud.* Kim uses ceramics as a way of commenting on the constant cycle of urban development in modern Seoul and the disappearance of its architectural legacy. Exhibition originated by the Fondation d’entreprise Bernardaud and their guest curator Hyeyoung Cho, organised and curated for the V&A by Dr Rosalie Kim, Samsung Curator of Korean Art and supported by the Korea Foundation. Additional support provided by Samsung.


I want to investigate this idea with my work – the voices of the survivors are disappearing if they are not heard. Clay has memory, so incorporating this kind of manipulation of clay could be more interesting than just displaying an object at the end of my process.


V&A Artists Residency – Opening the Cabinet, Histories of Slavery and Slave-Ownership

We are delighted to announce our new call for artists who are keen to engage with the histories of slavery and slave-ownership that are ‘hidden in plain sight’ within in the museum, as part of the V&A Research Institute (VARI) Opening the Cabinet of Curiosities project. The selected artist will be encouraged to engage with both the V&A’s collections and the information we are unearthing about them to make visible these histories not currently reflected in the museum.


-Noted to keep an eye on for future information.


Pinch Pots

After struggling to get into the ceramics studio I bought some basic air drying clay and work on making a collection of small pinch pots to get used to using clay and my hands, as well as have a body of work to start from.

I wanted to try and use the fact that clay holds memory to my advantage so I overworked the clay before forming it into pinch pots, and unsurprisingly they all collapsed when they eventually dried. Some held their shapes, but most turned into crude flat discs. While these were wholly unsuccessful I was glad to get my hands in some clay and also to produce a collection of something.





To get myself back into the swing of making I went to the ceramics studio and worked on throwing on the wheel. I’d been thinking about ceramic techniques over the summer and had been watching tonnes of videos, yet being back on the wheel I was surprised at how out of practice I was. I definitely need to practice a lot more. I was able to make a few forms, this isn’t necessarily the direction I’d like to go in but it was enjoyable working with clay again.




Small bowls thrown using porcelain clay. I’d been trying to get into the studio for several weeks – lots of staffing issues meant I couldn’t work on slip casting, so I got some porcelain buff and worked on some throwing.

It was much harder than I expected it to be, definitely isn’t like riding a bike and will require loads more practice.




While watching technique videos I came across Kara Leigh Ceramics. She talks about how clay can become tired, which got me thinking about how clay is considered to have memory. My interests center around collective memory and how the voices of women are being silenced.

Could I look into working with “tired” clay as a means of representing the tired women? The overworked women? Forcing a function of clay to make it do what I want even if it doesn’t look good or actually function properly?


To Do

w/c 08/01/17

Start adding to blog

– Collect all notes made so far and add to blog:

  – phone notes

  – journal notes

– Confirm appointment with Claire for Monday 15th

  – Bring small shot cups & photos of failed mold

– Buy clay from Gay and charge to my materials account / (Speak to Claire first to work out what clay I can use for free to start with.)

– Experiment with unfired clay in water

 – add to blog

– Locate pieces made before Christmas

 – add to blog


Doris Salcedo on Materiality

“The way that an artwork brings materials together is incredibly powerful. Sculpture is its materiality. I work with materials that are already charged with significance, with a meaning they have acquired in the practice of everyday life. Used materials are profoundly human; they all bespeak the presence of a human being … The handling of materials in each piece is the result of a specific act, related to the event I am working on. It is an act of everyday life that gives shape to the piece. In some cases it is a <u>hopeless act of mourning</u> … The processes go beyond me, beyond my very limited capacity, whether because one single person couldn’t possibly have made the work, or because of the brutality and massiveness of the act… The handmade element of the work marks not merely an absence of industrial values, but also a wholehearted rejection of rationalism. Paradoxically war is the maximum expression both of industrialism and of its destruction … I’m interested in the notion of the artist as a thinker attuned to every change in society but at the same time producing art that is irreducible to psychological or sociological explanations.”

(Quoted in Basualdo, pp.21-3.)



Doris Salcedo on pain and trauma

Salcedo’s work gives form to pain, trauma, and loss, while creating space for individual and collective mourning. These themes stem from her own personal history. Members of her own family were among the many people who have disappeared in politically troubled Colombia. Much of her work deals with the fact that, while the death of a loved one can be mourned, their disappearance leaves an unbearable emptiness.

Untitled, 1998 is one of a large group of Untitled sculptures combining domestic wooden furniture with cement that Salcedo created during the 1990s.

Made by craftsmen, by hand, the sculpture’s wardrobe and chair have a history of relationships with human bodies – those that made them and those for whom they were created.

In relation to the cement, they stand in for bodies; although as their openings are closed they are bodies that can no longer function; they are sealed and silenced in a manner that powerfully evokes death and entombment. As well as uncomfortably fusing two or more pieces of furniture, Salcedo’s Untitled series often incorporates clothing into the layer of concrete filling the openings in the cupboards, drawers and cabinets suggesting even more poignantly the remains of people who are no longer alive.

The Tate Summary

Thinking about how my clay pots are disintegrating into the water I think about this summary of Salcedo’s work using a handcrafted wooden wardrobe, and how the cement fills the voids within the wardrobe to speak of death and silencing. The dissolving pots speak of the same themes, as the water forces the clay to change, women’s voices are forced into invisibility. The pots no longer resemble pots to look at.

Salcedo grounds her art in intense research, which includes prolonged fieldwork and extensive interviews with those who have experienced violence and loss. Seeking out direct accounts, or obtaining physical evidence from victims or their relatives and friends, she becomes what she calls a ‘secondary witness’. To articulate catastrophe visually, she has consistently resorted to techniques of eradication, disfiguration, blockage and especially removal. The last of these offers a particularly effective way to represent trauma – not only because disaster literally annihilates people and things, but also because when attempts are made to recall it, there is often a failing of memory, since trauma has the effect of obliterating its own recollection.

Voice of the invisible, by Madeleine Grynsztejn
1 September 2007
Tate Etc. issue 11: Autumn 2007

Trauma having the effect of obliterating its own recollection is evident in my work, similarly through techniques of eradication and disfigurement with the introduction of water to the unfired pots.