William Talbot BFA Sculpture Thesis Spring 2014
Ceramics in the West: A Walkthrough the Technical Aspects of a Teapot & Two Eastern Teas
As a student of a “fine art” school, I have been indoctrinated to make art that serves the purpose of making one think and nothing more. If I use clay, it is no longer “fine art’ but has transformed into craft which somehow belittles the work that I have created. The discussions no longer encompass the utilitarian functional aspect of the work or about the design choices I created, but are derailed and are about my choice of craft in an art school. Why is it that craft is on a lower plane then “fine art?” Craft fulfills the obligations of “fine art” in the idea that it does make one think, it does make one feel and it allows for a utilitarian functionality to become present as well. A teapot is something that is laughed at in the art world, but what type of clay was used? Was there a meaning behind that clay? Was the artist trying to evoke a feeling of homeland by digging clay from their backyard? How does the teapot feel in ones hand? The tea that is drank is appreciated differently depending on the meaning of that pot and the tastes are altered by the glaze and clay used. These are all important aspects that a craftsman thinks about. These emotions, if done properly can be transmitted through touch of that object. As a “fine artist” that is moving in the direction of craft, I would like to combine the two, intertwining them as one entity, for they are the same and should be thought and appreciated at the same level. Hopefully through my pottery I can accomplish this task by creating works that are esthetically pleasing and have a deeper meaning then one usually thinks when looking at ceramics while have a utilitarian function still present. Ceramics is one of the oldest art forms we have and should be appreciated on a higher level by all then it currently is.