Artist Book

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Artist Book Helen Coulton Artist Designer : Maker

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Cardiff Metropolitan University

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Artist statement In my project, I have designed and created ceramic tableware, combining decorative art with functional products, using marbling to mimic abstract art. The works aims to bring nature inspired colours to tableware that can be enjoyed in everyday life. As a lover of colour, marbling allows me to explore colour, shapes and patterns in abstract ways, freezing in time the moment when two colours mix together. Throwing is the ideal forming method for my work, as the wheel acts as my paint brush, pulling the coloured clay through the form. For me, this is much as a painter works on an abstract art, but with ceramic form as the canvas. The mechanics of throwing distort the pattern of the clay creating movement in the design. This links with nature as nature is always moving and changing around us. Clay has a forgiving nature and its plastic properties make it ideal for my practice; I am able to move and form it into any desirable shape, seeing how the marbled clay responds to form and touch. The fact that I can re-claim the clay and use it again and again, gives me peace of mind as it as sustainable process and I find the repetitive motion between the potter and the wheel therapeutic. 3 Proof Copy: Not optimised for high quality printing or digital distribution


Glass Stand Space Bowl #1

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Glass Stand space bowls This project was about making a bowl. It could be any size and shape made with any material so long as it was a bowl. I chose ceramics as that was my field of work. My initial inspiration was to explore the properties of glaze. in particular the way in which the glaze can become liquid in the kiln and can drip down. After doing some research looking at how other artists have used glass dripping, I came up with the idea to make the drip into a stand for the bowl. Having decided that that was my aim, I then considered different ways of achieving this. My first thought was to let glass drip onto the base of the bowl in the kiln but as I wouldn't be able to control the drips so I decided to make the drips and stand out of wax first.from which I was able to make a plaster mould, then melted glass into it. The stand has unique and wonderful colours in it. However, I would liked the top of the stand (where the bowl rests) to be thicker. I have kept the bowl wide and shallow to best display the space image and for it to best hold fruit. I went for a space theme because when observing stars, I can feel peaceful and I wanted to bring that quality to my bowl. I was aiming for the planets to be green, brown and blue and the galaxy to be white and blue to compliment the blue of the stand. This is what I was aiming for with the glaze and decals. However, due to time restrictions, the outcome in not what I was expecting. I think it still came out great because colours work well together and I like the way in which the bowl and the base compliment each other whilst the glass stand gives a strong and bold contrast. 5 Proof Copy: Not optimised for high quality printing or digital distribution


Glass stand space bowl 2

This is my second attempt at creating the space themed bowl. I have made the glaze much bolder to emphasize the night sky. I haven't included planets in this one because I wanted all the attention on the star.

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Space Dip bowl 1+2

I have also created dip bowls with a space theme to them. I planned them to be spiralling galaxies. They differ slightly in terms of both form and design. The first one (one a the top), has three arms spiralling off, whereas the one other one only has one. This is because they are represents two different galaxies.

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Dip bowl #3 This dip bowl, is another version of the dip bowl except I have added in coloured clay whilst throwing which has caused the coloured streaks to distort due to the centrifugal force of the wheel.

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I have also made two bowls that both have a textile element to them.

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Exposure

In this project, I have taken colours from nature around us. The colours have come from photos that I have taken whilst on my holiday trips with my family. The images vary from sunset, to snow dri s and sea side. Instead of having the colours in the glaze, I have put the colour directly in the clay, making and using coloured clay in my throwing to make func onal tableware. The focus point of my project is to bring the colours of nature into everyday func onal items, such as tableware. I have added the coloured clay during throwing by cutting a section out of the clay and adding coloured clay in its place. By doing this, I can see the effects of throwing on the colour I have also added colour before throwing so that it marbles within the clay.

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Milk Jugs

These are my first jugs where I practiced adding coloured clay during throwing. I like them because I can clearly see the effects that throwing has on the clay by how distorted the lines have become.

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Spouts are for allowing the water to pour out easier, so having the leaf on the spout links to nature as it was inspired by the way leaves are designed for rain water to pour off them.


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My Plates

These are the first plates I threw.The top one was inspired by how the clouds move with the wind. For the second one, I wanted to represent how water flows in a river.

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The top one shows leaves spiralling in the wind.The second one is inspired by how the leaves come back in spring.

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The idea behind the top design came from water ripples and how they twinkle in the sunlight. For the bottom one, the movement of the ivy wrapping round a tree is complimentary to how the wheel has marbled the colours in the plate. 16 Proof Copy: Not optimised for high quality printing or digital distribution


Plates with leaves

Here, I have tried to add the leaves into the design of the colour. The top design comes from how grass peers through the snow as it starts to melt. The bottom one highlights how the sky and land intertwine on the horizon.

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Chinese bowls

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These are my Chinese inspired bowl. They are a mixture of rice, noodle and soup bowls. I have added the coloured clay before throwing to marble the colour throughout the clay. I wanted to capture how colour flows all around us. 19 Proof Copy: Not optimised for high quality printing or digital distribution


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Second Jugs

I have added more complex designs on these jugs and because there are bigger, I have added handles. I have also added leaves on the spouts as well as on the main body of the jugs to extend the leaf design.

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Mugs In these mugs, I have added the coloured clay in before throwing to the create a marbling effect throughout the design. They are inspired by the colours of the sky and snow. I went for a simple yet elegant design for the handle so as to not draw any attention away from the marbling. I have carved the mug on the right to add the flare of movement to the piece.

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The mugs are slightly different as I have taken some of the mug and curved it found to form a handle. These mugs are sea inspired, by the moveemnt of the waves in the ocean upon the rocks

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Bark Texture Coloured Cup

This is where I tried create a coloured bark texture on mug. However, I applied the coloured slip too thick so the white of the clay hasn't come through. 28 Proof Copy: Not optimised for high quality printing or digital distribution


Ths is a serving dish I made. I was meant to be a plate but I got the dimensions wrong. I like the lines of blue and black and the way in which they have misshapen due to the centrifugal force of the wheel.

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These plates show continuing experiments with colours and how movement changes the shape. the images on the left come from the patterns displayed on tree trunks. The image on the right is inspired by water ripples and the way in which they move with the current.

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Table set #1

This first set, I have mirrored the water ripple effect. I have done this on a previous plate, accept this time I chose the colours green and yellow. The yellow, I placed in the clay before throwing and the green I placed during throwing. I chose these colours for this set because though water is blue, the green colour is mirroring the seaweed in the water. The yellow is the sand caressing the seaweed.

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This set is inspired by sunsets. They are a marvel to look at. I always thanks God for painting this view for us to admire. Such beauty is extraordinary to see. The way in which these colours come together and blend with each other. I think it is ideal that I try to marble them into tableware so people can experience these events in their own homes. 36 Proof Copy: Not optimised for high quality printing or digital distribution


Tableware set #2

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Table Set #3

This design is inspired by grass peering through the snow. In my plate, I have tried to capture the movement of the snow fall, melting and the grass reaching out to find the sun once again; giving light to the coming of spring. I like this piece because the movement of the wheel and distorted the spots so it looks like they are running.

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Plastercine Modules After researching about marbling, agate ware and Nerikomi, I wanted to play with colours and create some agate and nerikomi patterns. I practiced with plastercine because it has the same plastic properties. I used it to create small plastercine cups. Each model is different in the way of colour and patterning.

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Instagram: helenrcoulton Youtube: Helen Coulton Blog: https://helencoulton31415.wordpress.com/

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