Clay as canvas? How about paper as glaze? by Christine Owen

[Basic ceramics for students who do not have access to materials or nature] 

In this project, students will consider gestalt design theory and design glaze on plates using any plate [clay, paper, plastic] and a paper bag or other papers. Students

adjust and play with a figure-ground reversal. Symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial compositions.

First [together in a zoom shared screen I lecture and]  analyze a group of slides from historic plates and identify decorative compositions. Find radial symmetrical, symmetrical, and asymmetrical compositions. Perhaps you find other compositions that challenge or abide by balance and unity. 


Based on historical examples and your own intuition:

  1. Tear or cut a brown paper bag, newspaper, or copy paper, cover your plate 90% with paper considering where you reveal the plate and how that impacts the perception of space. [document your work] 
  2. Cover 20% of your plate in the same way. [document your work] 
  3. Tear or cut the paper in pieces to create a pattern. Apply [place] a pattern symmetrically on the plate. [document your work]  
  4. Tear or cut the paper in pieces to create a pattern. Locate [place]that pattern asymmetrically on the plate. [document your work]  
  5. Tear or cut the paper in pieces to create a pattern. Apply [place] the pattern in radial symmetry on the plate. [document your work]  
  6. Reflect. Which of these compositions felt ‘right’ to you? Describe the pattern and express why? If you were to create a dinner set with one of these pattern choices, which would you choose? What about color or surface texture? 


This Project can be followed up with a study on Wayne Higby’s early canyon bowls. 

[tearing paper to create the landscape outside ones home on a plate or bowl form]

Considering the play of space on form and how glaze can support or deny the form. That leads to Betty Woodman playing with 3d and 2d space. Circling back around to Jeanne Quinn’s idea of cutting out cardboard templates with slits that key into one another to create a free standing pot silhouette. 



Posted on

March 20, 2020

Leave a Reply