This is a direct reflection on the comments in the feedback I received from my Part 3 work. (Thompson, 2020)
Presentation of Work
… Perhaps you could experiment with colour here? Also documenting the work in more varied locations?
from Feedback on assignment
You have made good use of your garden and the space you have available. I encourage you to reflect on your potential audience, thinking about how you display work impacts the significance and meaning you’d like to convey. Explore how and where you display a work and how this can change its reading and intention. Is it possible to take your work to a particular location? Alternatively, create a gallery type setting, to document your work in a neutral space?
from Pointers for the next assignment
During this part I’ve actively used colour more in the different works, and have imaged some of the works in different spaces. These have included the walls of my home, and the use of a graduated photography backdrop for some of the works.
The clay modelling project was both interesting and enjoyable. I experimented with a fairly wide range of forms and approaches, and produced a number of works in different forms. I also experimented with a range of different finishes. The main five works are shown below, and detailed in the post for the project. (Howard, 2020)
After my Part 2 feedback (Thompson, 2020) I am expanding the scope of this to reflect my sketchbook in a larger sense than just those sketches that feed into the sculptural work for the projects.
As with the previous part my first step on the main body of the project was to start with a series of initial sketches and thoughts for ideas. The early ideas and ideas that weren’t progressed from the previous project, as well as previous sketchbook ideas, are also implicitly included in the scope of what I might consider completing in addition to these.
When I started considering Project 5 I quickly realised the the amount of clay being talked about was significant. A cube of 35cm on each side isn’t small, and clay is dense stuff. I looked at two different ways of calculating the amount of clay needed. The first approach was to measure a 12.5kg bag of clay – 45cm x 18cm x 6cm which is just under 0.005 cubic metres. A 35cm side cube is about 0.0.43 cubic metres – so just under 9 bags, or 112.5 kg.
I have been reflecting further on my tutor feedback (Howard, 2020) and how I apply myself to my work. I am starting to think that there is a concept in art that is similar to Planned verses Emergent strategy in business. (Riley, 2020) At one extreme art works can be meticulously planned and executed, including reams of preparatory drawings and other work. At the other extreme one might only take an initiating action and the outcome is essentially emergent based on relatively uncontrolled factors. There is clearly a host of possibilities in between.
As with some of the previous research items of the course this is a fairly open research brief, though the context of Clay Modelling limits the scope of the research somewhat. I have approached it as a consideration of sculptural technique and the range of work possible with clay.
Donatello will have made extensive use of clay in his work, though much of the clay work he produced will be visible now as bronze sculptures. The V&A website discusses (V&A, 2020) the tradition of Italian Terracotta Sculpture in the context of Donatello and others. They assert that Terracotta figures, like that in Fig. 1., were used as a cost effective alternative to completing works in more expensive materials.
Whether created as part of the production process for a bronze, or to provide a cheaper alternative for a portrait the use of clay in sculpture at this point was extensive. There doesn’t seem to be a readily available document of how Donatello would have worked with clay, but the most likely approach is that a solid form would have been made on an armature and then hollowed out. Its likely this would have been performed by slicing into the work, hollowing it and then putting it back together with slip. Some Terracotta Sculptures have an open back, which allows you to see the marks left by the hollowing process.