For my final project in this class, I had many ideas, having looked forward to taking this class for a few years, I had collected inspiration over time. During this class I have spent time working on my designs and trying to make pieces that are true to who I am as a person and an artist. For my final I wanted to create a set that embodied more of who I would like to be, and the art that I wish to create. Finding ideas and inspiration came about through a lot of scrolling through Pinterest boards, and Instagram feeds looking for designs that I thought fit into my own aesthetic; I also was able to draw from ceramic pieces around me, acknowledging what I appreciated and what I disliked in mugs, bowls and plates that I used in my daily life.
My set would include two plates, two bowls and two mugs that would all share a theme, and be similar in size and scale to each other. I wanted to create pottery inspired by a minimalistic and modern style, which I found that many current Japanese ceramics styles seem to exemplify. I was also able to find certain ceramicists that used different styles and techniques that I wanted to use myself. Some examples are Becca Jane’s collections of ceramics that use real plants as stamps to imprint their texture and imagery onto her pieces. Another inspiring artist was Kari Ytterdal and her use of glaze in the inside of her pieces, I love the way the outside of her work is simple, but when you get closer there is a bright, colorful surprise inside. Lastly, one specific piece by Sophie Moran inspired me to add the idea of small handles to my bowls. With this set my plan was to be simple yet elegant, minimal but aesthetically pleasing, and bringing in nature and color into each piece.
My plates would be big enough for a dinner serving, and my hope would be that they would be elegant enough to use for special occasions but practical and usable, with the ability to make the user feel special every day. The plates would be round yet purposefully imperfect, with a smooth texture throughout the entire body, and they would be slightly concave so as to make it easy to pick up when on a flat surface. I would press a sprig of lavender and a piece of grass into the center of each, and the two plates would be mirror images of each other. The whole piece would be covered in white slip, and then I would go over the imprints with natural colored glazes into the stamped areas, and I would paint the center of the plates with a pale blue glaze. The design would be delicate and refined but still with an earthy tone, and the plates would be light and thin so as to not be clunky, while still being sturdy enough for daily use.
The design for my mugs would be to make them a comfortable size for someone to grab, and big enough for tea, coffee or just for a drink of water. They would have very thin lips to add to the light weight design, and the handle would be thin enough to be delicate, but still strong enough that it wouldn’t break off. The surface and texture of the mug would be smooth all around and with no sharp edges. I would again imprint the mugs with herbs around the walls, but this time I would use sage leaves which give a really nice texture. The pieces would be painted in white slip and I would inlay colored glaze into the imprints of the leaves and the inside of the mugs would have a bright green glaze. The feet of the mugs would be gently carved out of the bottoms, giving them a shallow indentation. The design would be simple and tasteful.
As for the bowls, they would match the rest of the pieces by being smooth in texture and thin lipped. They would have relatively low walls but be big enough for cereal, salad or even a serving of pasta. They would match the plates and mugs by being painted in white slip on the outside, as well as having imprints of rosemary branches around the body of the bowls. The pressed designs would be filled with a colored glaze, and the inside of the bowls would have a pastel, lavender purple glaze. The bowls would have the addition of two little handles on either side so as to be able to lift them easily, and they would have low, small feet made out of a small coil.