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Found Object Personal Histories in Clay


For this project, you will construct an edition of X3 objects, comprised of X4 smaller objects, all of which will require at least a 2 part mold to make.  The primary method of creating will be through slip casting using plaster molds that strategically break into parts in order to release from more complex objects.  In previous projects, we’ve focused on creating forms that began as flat, texture based ideas that led to casting larger objects that can be looked at in the round that still only required a single plaster mold to make.  


In this project, you will be working with more complex objects that require greater thought in relation to the molds you make of them.  This will take more time and during those periods of work, you will need to manage multiple steps at once in order to maximize your productivity in order to make the deadline of December 6th. 


**There will not be as much leeway on this project since it is your final challenge leading up to the culmination of this class, so you will need to use your time wisely, which means allocating time within your already busy schedules to make it into the studio, outside of class time.  


So to say, “Time is of the essence”, “Patience is a virtue”, you’ve failed quickly and often to produce excellent results thus far.  It’s time to take what you’ve learned and not only grow, but to expand on what you know into the last and final step of Ceramics 1.   


You will construct an object made of many, in this case, at least four different objects that can be anything from fruit, cans, sports equipment, to candy or baked goods, to almost anything you imagine.  We will discuss your ideas (generate at least 8 and whittle those down to 4) in class and talk about how viable they are in terms of making rigid plaster molds.  Essentially, we’re going to talk about how complex the objects you're thinking about are within the limitations of the materials we’re working with, ie. liquid clay Slip and plaster.  


The four objects you ultimately land on should in some way connect back to your character.  That is to say, that they must be able to tell a story in some way about who you are as a person.  This can relate back to your chosen identity and can also (but does not have to) connect to your family's heritage.  


Start by engaging in a period of inquiry:

The daily revelation writing assignment normally due on Mondays each week will serve as your method of note taking that will hopefully provide a helpful foundation from which you can begin working on this assignment.  

    ***For Monday, November 1st, write 500 words about where you come from, who you are, why you are, what it is that makes you unique, and about the person you would like to become or grow into.  Keep in mind that you will use this as a brainstorming session and the ideas that you collect should connect back to your final project idea in some way.  Use your "practice" as a point of inspiration and in the future, try to allow an aspect from that consistently repeated action that you’ve learned or enjoyed, inform your decisions into the future.  


“Because I enjoy the perspective of what it’s like to be considered, I will….(do this)”


Questions to ask yourself when considering which objects to choose:

  1. What is Idiosyncratic about me?

  2. What is peculiar about me?

  3. Is there anything odd about me?

  4. Am I eccentric in any way?

  5. What is my authentic character?

  6. How do I portray this in my everyday life?

  7. How do I reinforce those ideas concerning who I am?

  8. Am I walking my own path and if so, what does that look like?

  9. Who do you identify with?

  10. Heroes?

  11. Goals, mission in life?

  12. Where do you come from, physically or figuratively?

  13. Why do I make the decisions I make each day? Where am I going with this?

  14. What is my powerful personal impact on the world?

  15. What are my quirks? (everyone has them and they are amazing to witness)



  1. Pick four objects

  2. Make at least two-part molds of each object

  3. Assemble cast forms into one object in a thoughtful and defensible manner - just be able to say why in terms of more than because it looks good that way.  How do these objects interact?

  4. Utilize typical ceramic scoring and slipping building techniques in a successful way - these objects need to make it through two firings.

  5. Use methods of decoration that include both underglaze application as well as glaze application.  You must explain why during your final presentation.

  6. You must make an edition of 3 total objects that incorporate all X4 smaller separate objects.

  7. Your edition of three must look similar to the group you’ve created.

  8. Extra consideration must be given to the quality of your castings.

    1. They must be clean of sharp edges

    2. They must be consistent

    3. There must be evidence of intermediate mastery when it comes to timing..

      1. How long each object sits in mold

      2. How thick is each object?

      3. Are they being pulled out of the mold when they are still very wet/pliable or when they are in a cheese hard stage? (shoot for cheese hard)

  9. Your molds must be appropriately sized, free of sharp points, and adequately proportioned between plaster and water (100 grams plaster: 70grams water)

  10. You will need to remember to use a release in between each layer of plaster - these are two part molds - without a release, plaster will stick to plaster in unexpected ways.  

  11. Your molds must utilize keys and they should be clean, as in, they should all look the same and be consistently deep.  No sharp edges.  

  12. You will need to present your idea during your final and this will involve explaining:

    1.  the process of coming up with your character

    2. how you chose your objects

    3. how you made and assembled the object you came up with

    4. which glazes you chose and why (more than they just look good - connect these colors to something significant to you)

  13. You must demonstrate well thought out sketches of your work prior to making 

    1. These sketches should be timed at 15 minutes each

    2. Make 3 of them

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