CLAY+ Catalogue

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Clay Plus (CLAY+) An Experimental Experience with Clay 10/03/2020 10:00-13:00 MAKE @ Story Garden Story Garden, Ossulston St, London NW11DF

PREFACE Manqiao F 2020

Clayplus project is an experimental laboratory where participants can share opinions and experiment with unconventional ways of using clay, exploring clay as a narrative material and a reflection of social issues. “Clay” stands for a material from nature. It is a medium that has been used to convey messages. After reshaping and revaluing, clay will become an intellectual object, a storyteller. It is also a way of living, simple and austere, beautiful and profound. “Plus” is the methodology. It is a way of thinking. In this laboratory, idea fragments meet, combine, and evolve. The border of clay extends through collage and the collaboration with people, ideas, and other materials. Clayplus workshop is site-specific. Our first launch was in the Story Garden. The garden is a place where people can communicate, share knowledges and make connections. Moreover, the garden becomes a specific context, inspiring participants to think differently. Before the workshop, we did lots of research and testing. The progress makes us think more about the importance of collaboration and community as well as the factors that changes the value of a material, such as narrations, utilities, and rarities. By looking into the cases of clay practitioners, we found the potentials of using and interpreting clay. Clay is not just a form. It is something social.

CLAYPLUS An Experimental Research-based Clay Workshop

We invited a small group of UAL MA students from different courses, who are interested in clay and would like to use clay as a medium in their future practices. Clayplus workshop is a laboratory where participants can share opinions and experiment with unconventional ways of using clay, exploring clay as a narrative material and a reflection on social issues. ‘Thinking outside the box’ What is clay? From use as an industrial building material to a multitude of daily uses such as pottery, clay is a key ingredient in the material world we are living in. It is a natural product from the earth and the most common and fundamental matter of human creativity. Clay can be easily shaped, moulded and combined with other materials or turned into various forms in craft. The unpredictable feature of clay is a challenge but also provides artists and craftsmen with numerous possibilities to play with.


Experience and experiment with clay

Making with clay Break the boundary of how clay is normally used

An In-depth discussion

How to use clay unconventionally and how to use it as a statement How clay is used by contemporary clay practitioners Break the restrictions of how clay is currently being used

Explore the narratives of clay

The impacts of context on clay works Sharing ideas, knowledges. and experience through clay


The cramped living space of humans is closely related to population growth and urban expansion. In the future, a variety of factors may cause a shortage of land. One of the major crisis is global warming. Unlike an apocalyptic event that is spontaneous and terrifies people, the damages of global warming reveal slowly, much like sands falling through an hourglass. Therefore, enabling people’s sense of complacency, drawing people’s attention away from the issue and many people even treat it as a hoax. According to the recent scientific study, the previous research in climate change have overlooked the effects of clouds. The process of warming will cause clouds to decrease, creating a vicious circle with irreversible consequences. Therefore, we believe that climate disasters caused by global warming will cause more serious shortage of residential land in the future, such as the rising sea level, changes in ocean currents, and the changes in precipitation. This is how the story “The Last Clay” started. In this project, our team is active and up to date with environmental changes, especially the rise of sea level caused by global warming. We assume, in 2100, the sea level would rise sharply due to the continuous destruction of environment, and most of the land would be submerged by the sea. People are pushed to change their lifestyles, trying to build floating cities on the sea, relying on the ocean tidal power and solar energy to sustain the demands of energy. In this case, dirt, a resource that was once ubiquitous and of little commercial value, becomes a treasure. If you found a Clay, what will you do to it?

MAKE @ Story Garden Story Garden, Ossulston St, London NW1 1DF

The Story Garden is a partnership between Global Generation, the British Library, Stanhope and Mitsui Fudosan. MAKE @ Story Garden is developed and delivered by Central Saint Martins and Somers Town Community Association, in partnership with Camden Council and Lendlease. MAKE is based in the Story Garden, built for and by the local community. The garden is a green oasis at the British Library in Somers Town, bringing the local community together over food growing, communal meals, shared stories and creative activities.

Follow MAKE @ Story Garden on Instagram


Follow us on Instagram Work in progress and the final works made by participants will be documented in CLAYPLUS digital catalogue and project Instagram. postgraduate-community/stories/open-call-tojoinclay-project-team

DISCUSSION Manqiao F, Chuan Q

Clay + Found objects (Collage)

Clay + Process

Clay + Smoke

Clay + Form

Clay + Community

Clay + Production Line

Gillian Lowndes, At the Edge, York Art Gallery 2019 As one of the most radical ceramicists of the twentieth century, from the 1970s onwards, Lowndes was at the forefront of a new style of contemporary ceramics explored the materiality of clay. She used an abstract expressionist way of working, combining together a range of materials and found objects she recycled to create new sculptural work she called collages. Anna Maria Maiolino Maiolino’s work looks into the feature of fragility and the changing process. Produced by manually rolling and shaping clay into hundreds of rolls or balls, the installation refers to everyday tasks; each piece retaining distinctive marks of its manufacture and collectively creating an imposing structure. Besides, a sense of fragility permeates the raw clay, as it dehydrates and changes colour. Granby Workshop, Smoked Ceramics ‘Smoked’ ceramic. Every piece is unique, with patterns and colour forged by exposure to smoke in the fire. Anish Kapoor Kapoor’s installations look into the Processing and chance which are explores the interaction between material and machine. Kapoor always investigates new ways of generating form. The sculptures combined intention with chance by using cement, clay and wax mixes. Antony Gormley, Field Make by the people for the people. A project about humans collective future and their responsibility for it, which is created to engage the community. A series of installations were created from 1991 to 2003 made in collaboration with communities from across the globe, using the human form to explore man's existence in and in relation to the world. Clare Twomey, Factory: the seen the unseen,Tate Exchange Factory is a term that refers to shared labour and production. Twomey transformed Tate Exchange into a factory making everyday objects from clay to explore ideas around the concept of production. In the factory, she invites visitors to work with clay, to labour at the production line and to exchange the pieces.

Qinming F

Clay: Construction and Deconstruction “the raw material is from nature and recycling to nature.” Everything Below the Neck is the Legs My project originated from one of my daily dreams, which was an imagination that if the human has longer legs, what will be replaced and variated by such changing? Anatomy? Even in society? It originated from imagination, like a mirror reflecting the real world but still virtual; perhaps it should degrade and disappear, like every single dream goes upon waking— the raw materials are from nature and recycling to nature.

Yang L Clay: The Carrier of Information “clay is a mass of information under the state of being sealed, a carrier that records information at a specific time and place.” I have always been interested in the sealing ability of this material, resin. In the previous practice, I used resin to seal my childhood toys. The audience is only allowed to feel and recognize the objects in the resin through vision, rejecting other senses, and vision becomes the only way to recognize it. And when I sealed clay, the properties and stereotypes of clay as a raw material based on the intention of use were completely overturned.


Workshop Preparation and Research

Project Director - Manqiao Fang Workshop Preparation - Qinming Workshop Preparation - Yang Li Project Research and Equipment - Chuan Qin Project Preparation - Ke Wang

Graphic design

Poster and catalogue design - Catarina Neves, Sally Yang


Photographer - Yu Leng, Dorisluming Videographer - Dorisluming Video Editor - Rikki Henry Catalogue - Manqiao Fang


Eliza Collin

Special thanks

Georgia Jacob Simeon Featherstone Alicia Monedero-Chaves Cai Zhang


Qinming Feng Yang Li Fiona Adamson Lizzie Cardozo Kay Senior James Canty Dee Honeybon Wenjun Chen Liz Ramos-Prado Nicky O’donnell

Funded by

UAL Post-Grad Community

Supported by

MAKE@Story Garden

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