Sunday, 24 October 2010


I thought I'd write a little about my current College project because a) it gives a flavour of what the course is about and b) it is related to one of my favourite activities:  doodling.

The project's official name is: Module AD203 Printing on to ceramics. Printing in this case can mean literally printing transfers to go on to pots using a ceramic printer (e.g.. making decals) or impressing designs on to pots using stamps and roulettes, or using techniques such as monoprinting where slips and underglazes are transferred from paper, plaster, lino, etc directly on to unfired clay.  It's all a lot of fun so far, and I feel more relaxed about this project than others, for some reason. 

So where do the doodles come in?  The theme of my project is Personal Culture, and given that'work' (the real work, stuff that pays the bills and that)  has helped to shape the person I am, I decided I'd do something printed on a pot about that.  And given that I doodle a lot at work (in meetings, when I'm on the phone, whilst idly chatting to colleagues... ) and I've seen others do it too, I thought that should come into it somehow. 

Mainly though my piece is going to be about the language and behaviour we use during our working day, and especially in meetings. 

One of the major and very influential changes in my working life in public sector organisations over the past 15 years has been the disappearance of the in-house Specialist from Management positions and the arrival, in their place, of external 'Career Managers' (aka Business Men!).  The Business Man and his language and very particular kind of work culture has infiltrated almost all areas of my workplace.

So anyway, avoiding going off on too much of a rant here...  and getting waylaid from the matter of printing on ceramics:  I've decided to print some of the doodles that I and my colleagues have done during meetings on to a ceramic box and (inside of the box) add some printed ceramic badges and pendants with examples of some of those now well-known management and business clichés.  The 'box' itself being somewhat symbolic - for 'thinking out of' and 'fitting into' and 'ticking', etc - seemed an appropriate form.  It is meant to be a sort of 'suggestions box' for 'thinking out of'.  Suggestions come out of it rather going than in...  I'm sure you get it.

Anyway I made a start...  with some sketches:

and I made a model of the box (I planned to make it A4 as that seems relevant to the theme but it may be a little large... ):

I punched holes into the box so that it resembles sheets of paper joined together...  I made a smaller model and painted it with white slip and then roughly sketched lines on it so, again, it looks a bit like paper...

These are just tests so are a bit rough and ready, but they help me to get a very good idea of what a finished piece might look like and also I learn what is involved with actually building the piece before attempting my final work. 

It'd be good to have some suggestions for the box - I am definitely going to print a badge to go into it that says, I'm having an email-free day and then I will make sure I wear it once a week and live up to its message!

1 comment:

  1. Ah, *now* I get the box idea! I like the way it's constructed! I'd imagined a straightforward box made of flat sheets.
    Is it feasible to have the outsides of the leafs (leaves?) actually printed with genuine bullshit?
    Ideas for badges: "Time for a coffee" "Have you read your poem for today yet?" "Bring a cake in tomorrow." Hmm -- fairly crappy, those ones.