Contemporary takeaway – a modular game

On saturday, with a severe amount of apathy some friends and I ordered takeaway. Guiltily choosing Wagamama over some of the more local, independent restaurants.

Having dined in at Wagamama a couple of times, I was fully aware of the different ceramic vessels used for their menu, bowls, plates, cups etc. However, I was very surprised to see that they had mirrored these shapes within their takeaway range.

My chicken Raman dish was served using three separate units – a bowl, a lid and half-moon dish containing the sauce itself.

 

Other dishes had small, yogurt pot size containers in which a dipping sauce or dressing was served. These could be secured into the middle of any sized bowl – demonstrating the brilliance of uniformity.

 

This modular approach kept an amount of entertainment value throughout the meal, passing individual or combined containers to each other to share. I feel like this approach may be significant in how I think about the Holborne Ready Foods project – using modular parts to add value to the entertainment of dining.

This element of stacking and un-stacking reminds me of Lego, Duplo, or Brio train sets. Perhaps this play with modular pieces brings to life some of the games/entertainment once enjoyed when young?

 

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Eltonware

Visiting Clevedon Court this week provided the opportunity to experience some Eltonware, made by one of the Courts previous residents.


I was interested in how Elton had produced some of the relief motifs on his works. Some were clearly made separately and attached, but others appeared to be extensions of the surface.

These flower motifs appear to be made from coloured slips, which when layered up can create peaks and troughs.
This approach could be useful when thinking about adding colour to my work. At present, the idea of adding colour into the body of the clay feels much more holistic and truthful. The vast range of potential colours used to glaze bisque pieces seems quite overwhelming.  Elton’s flowers are quite precise and this may impact the refining of the (s)platter idea process.

Eltonware always evokes imagery of shining lustres and crackled surfaces – and the display didn’t disappoint. However, what I found most interesting was the organic shapes Elton removed from his pieces.

These two pots are quite different from the rest of the collection, appearing as if they could have been made only recently.

Considering the organic shape as a negative space is something that struck with me. I am unsure how this might impact my practice, but this idea is one to keep in mind.

Approaching Making

Now I have an idea about the objects I want to make, I have started to research the methods and processes of other ceramic makers.

I still remain absorbed by the current trend for chef’s to use smears and splatters in their cooking.

A potter who uses this approach to decorate his work is Jean-Nicolas Gerard. In the following video he uses slip trailing as well as sgraffito to make marks. At one point he mentions that the accident is important. By this I think he means spontaneity, or an impulsive act. An over-thought movement may look too controlled and lifeless.

When creating the spills and in thinking about making future work I will attempt to take on Gerard’s methodology.