I’m going through the handbook for Ceramics 1 trying to focus on what I want to work on for this module. It begins with a personal project brief. I have begun the module looking at the Holburne Project and developing the flasks, which I will continue with, but I would like to develop what I structured for the series of case studies I proposed in the RM module, and return to the Loch Lomond project.

I’m trying to get to the essence of what I want to investigate first, summed up in the final slide of my presentation with some new key words

  • vernacular
  • contemporary
  • hybridisation
  • language
  • environmental erosion

My aim: to create ceramics that communicate to the viewer an essence of the place that inspired their making.

Research objectives: I would like to structure a way of incorporating local materials and place specific environmental erosion into the making of ceramics.

Essay conclusion:-

The milestones of ideas of the dichotomy of vernacular/contemporary, hybridsaion, tectonics, essence and erosion are all fluid and will be explored in the ceramic studio. The research questions regarding exploring essence and the vernacular language informing the making will be explored throughout the next two years in a series of practice based case studies.

I need to focus on the formal aspects of this – how the ideas can take a physical form.

Thinking only about the form of vernacular structures for the moment Рthey are an expression of shelter and  boundary. The walls have a poetry in their construction, how they are ordered by size, balanced often held as a whole structure without mortar, layered, strong, built with traditional methods, organisation. They protect.

So ceramics that will explore – strength, balance, shelter, layering, protection. Ceramics that look like they are of the essence of the place that inspires them, they will look like they have been weathered and eroded and will contain local materials and suggest place specific erosion.

Some parallels from what I see when I look at some ceramics –

Hans Coper – he didn’t write much about his ceramics but he did say he was expressing the essence of ceramics or trying to extract the essence.


Paul Philip

“His ceramics evoke a connection with human activity but at the same time have forms and surfaces that resemble eroded rocks or old buildings. These are abstract vessels with echoes of natural form.”




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