Friday, 13 March 2015

A creative response to Making It: building your craft future at the Whitworth

My name is Tasmin Williams and I’m currently in my final year of a Three Dimensional Design Degree at Manchester School of Art. I specialise in ceramics, exploring clays tactile qualities through hand built forms created to be held and touched.
Last week I attended the North West Craft Network event, ‘Making it: Building your craft future’ at The Whitworth Art Gallery. I was given the opportunity to respond to the day’s events through the medium of clay.

The talks and 1:1 surgeries delivered by established crafts people covered so much insightful information and facilitated the opportunity to network with these experienced practitioners along with like-minded individuals who all have a passion for crafts. The artist talk that really inspired me was that given by Halima Cassell. It was fascinating to see how her work has progressed from when she was a University graduate and continues to develop throughout her career as a practicing artist.
Being in a room with all of these incredibly creative people was a great opportunity for me to further explore the relationship between the clay material and human touch.

I decided to document the day through a series of objects made by the participants taking part in the day’s activities. Giving each person a ball of clay, I asked them to play with the clay and create anything they wanted to. The series of objects made were fantastic.

There was such a wide variety of shapes and textures and almost every participant that had a go enjoyed the experience with one lady describing it as therapeutic. Most people were tentative in the way they picked up the clay at first but once they had rolled it around in their hands for a while they became more comfortable and familiar with its malleable properties. I feel the area in which each person practices affected the way they interacted with the clay. For example, a lady who purely works in two dimensions spent most of her time adding patterns to her object using the fine metal tools.
I found the event incredibly helpful and it has provided struggling and up and coming craft practitioners with tools they can use to move their practice onto its next stages and I am very privileged to have been part of such a fantastic opportunity.

Check out Tasmin's Blog