Duncan Ayscogh- Creativity Through Material and Process

Duncan is a ceramisist with an approach to making that I feel is very similar to mine. It is a very experimental way of going about things and focuses on the materials and what you can learn through using them and experimenting them. Through this focus on material and process one can generate ideas and develop ideas as you go along, as you find more out about the material and how it responds to your manipulation.

Duncan also talked about an objects history, how it has been made and how one is able to enter into an objects history of making through its manipulation of material. For instance, you can imagine a potter sculpting a pot made thousands of years ago by the shape and form of the pot and by how the surface has been finished. He looks at how the maker experiences the tension and emotions of making the objects and how this can be evident to the viewer in the final piece; how the object can speak of its creation, through how the maker interacted with it through making. The pieces ends up with a narrative of making. Duncan is very interested in tension on the surface of pots, through glazing and firing; how the object will respond to external process such as firing, and that serendipity that this brings with it, that unknown about what could happen and the potential of a “happy accident” occurring. I really like his recent works where he creates spiralling cracks on the surface of glaze. The pot is functional but It focuses more on aesthetically appearance.

Something that Duncan also looks at is capturing energy inside his work. He achieved this by using bright energetic colours such as bright polished gold. This gives a piece energy and helps the viewer further enter in to the object and the energy that is inside the object. I love this concept and would like to explore it a bit myself. Another thing I really like about Duncan’s pots are the simplicity of the form with smooth flowing lines, and then complexity of the surface cracks in the glaze all add together to create a very beautiful finished piece. The pot is also never just one single colour, but is a gradient of different shades of colours, achieved by many layers in the throwing stages before firing.

An artist which Duncan takes inspiration from and is somebody that uses a making technique similar to the type I am interested in is Thomas Heatherwick. Heatherwick is all about material experimentation and creation of objects that bridge the gaps between art, craft and design.

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