2 November 2018

Cross-cultural Identity Through Clay, Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan. 4th of October to 4th of November 2018 (End of the Residency)

After all the work we finally managed to complete 10 tiles in total.

The three images above is the location for the tile sculpture. In keeping with our idea we arranged the tiles to symbolise a path. Originally we kept our options open and selected a number of locations for the staff at the park to choose from. We finally agreed upon this location. What is nice about this space is that it is perched up on a hill that looks out into the distance. We arranged the sculpture to point towards the landscape in the distance to symbolise moving into different spaces.

Thank you to the staff including Yoshiko Takahashi and Akira Tao for helping us plan the installation.

We were hoping that we could install the sculpture before leaving the residency. However this was not possible so it will be installed after we leave by the staff. The tape around the piece marks a boundary for concrete to be placed up to and underneath the piece. The tile sculpture we be slightly raised off the ground. We are looking forward to seeing the finished result. 

The three images above show other locations. We were interested in taking pictures of the sculpture in different locations to understand how it interacts with different environments. 

Personally this project has got me thinking about how to place sculpture in an outdoor space. I realised important factors come to mind such as how to balance the sculpture with nature thereby respecting nature. It also got me thinking about the potential of sculpture to interact within an outdoor space.

Myself and Wen-Hsi Harman have decided to name this sculpture Cross-Cultural Path.

Thank you to all of the staff, artists and visitors at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park and the locals around Shigaraki who helped make this project possible.

1 November 2018

Cross-cultural Identity Through Clay, Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan. 4th of October to 4th of November 2018 (Glazing and applying digital transfers)

Applying 3-5 layers of clear glaze to un-fired stoneware tiles for a single firing to 1230c.

Once the glaze dried we then washed the base of the tiles with warm water.

All 30 tiles glazed and ready to be fired.

Unfortunately 20 tiles broke in the beginning of the gas firing process. It was upsetting to see this after our hard work, we thought it was the end of our project. Perhaps the result might have been due to the tiles not completely dry or maybe the flames were too strong. However all was not lost as 10 tiles survived and so we fired these again in an electric kiln which turned out fine.

Finished glazed tiles alongside digital transfer tests completed earlier.

A close up detail of the digital transfer tests. During our time in Germany for the XI International Ceramics Symposium Römhild 2018, Glücksburg Castle, Römhild, 5th of August - 2nd of September Wen-Hsi collected digital transfers for ceramics from an abandoned tableware factory. We decided to use these images along with images from Bristol in the UK and images from Shigaraki in Japan.

Applying the digital transfers to the tiles. As we have less tiles than originally planed we had to change our direction. Originally we planed on creating circular digital transfer images to arrange into a patten from large to small on a selected number of tiles. Instead we still cut the images into circles but arranged them in various sizes on five tiles. One tile focused on images to represent Taiwan, the second tile to represent  our home town Bristol in the UK, the third to represent Japan, the forth to represent Germany and the fifth consisting of mixed images representing all four countries.

Packing the electric kiln for the transfer firing.

Thank you Monika Patuszynska for helping Wen-Hsi find the digital transfers in Germany 2018.