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Product Code: BKWP

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Name Wall Pieces

Using clay as an artistic treatment for wall space is an increasingly fashionable and innovative solution for decorators, architects and makers. Wall pieces are the perfect solution for those who enjoy sculpture but have no space; they fulfill the same function as a picture while being much more dynamic and three-dimensional. Current wall pieces vary enormously from simple tiled works to huge installations, and this book looks at the huge variety of work being made, as well as all the problems, solutions and diverse approaches to wall pieces. Wall Pieces provides an insight into the work of contemporary makers, exploring how to plan, design, make, mount and safely hang ceramic pieces. It’s also illustrated with a wide selection of original and inspiring work by contemporary ceramic artists.

Pushing the boundaries
Over the last decade, the innovation and determination of ceramicists to push the boundaries of clay as well as people’s perceptions of the material has been both surprising and exciting. Wall Pieces offers inspiration for a material that’s extremely versatile, natural and beautiful. You’ll get an insight into how makers from all over the world are working with clay and the wall space in an exciting and dynamic manner. This book also provides some technical information and guidelines to help get you started in designing, creating and hanging your own wall piece. The fascination with the decoration of a wall’s surface is not a recent concept but can be traced as far back as Ancient Egypt, where they decorated their walls with stories of the gods using oxides painted directly on a surface and in some cases using ceramic tiles. Although ceramic wall pieces have evolved and changed from the use of the tile, the concept of decorating and expanding an idea, pattern and visual relief across a surface or a whole room is present throughout history and continues to this day.

Short history
Anne Mercedes contributes the first part of the book with an overview of what wall pieces are, and how they fit into the contemporary scene, with a look at their historical origins in other forms, and how they have evolved. More and more artists and designers working with ceramics are showing an interest in making wall pieces, and finding ways of producing large-scale work for which they may not have been trained. Achieving these projects often involves working in collaboration, so Mercedes briefly examines the practical and economic factors influencing the different forms of collaboration. The projects examined provide examples of different types of wall pieces, and highlight the social and economic developments relevant to anyone wishing to undertake projects of this kind.

Designing and planning
Before embarking on the making of a wall piece it’s essential to take time to plan and design your idea. Segurado provides some pointers to help you consider design issues and think about planning, as well as information on how other makers have used design planning to create a number of successful wall pieces.

One of the first and most important steps is to take time to consider the location, as this could have a strong influence on the starting points of the design, scale, weight and overall aesthetic. This will then influence your choice of materials and methods suitable to create your piece of work. In this way, making wall pieces involves a reversal of the usual approach, where an artist will often create a piece, and then consider how and where to display it. Wall pieces, at least for the larger works, are often location-led, and where they are to be located may dictate their design, style and atmosphere.

Hanging and mounting
When making and installing wall pieces you need to consider the practical aspects of the fixings, fittings and materials. There are a number of approaches and a variety of materials available, some more obvious and easier to obtain than others, but it is important to find both a method and materials suitable for the final design. While the simplest method can be the most suitable, you’ll see several makers’ methods of hanging and their approach to installation. It is exciting to see how each maker’s approach is a unique and successful integration of their concepts and the use of clay. Materials such as glass, ceramics, wood and metal have all been used as a valuable addition to the ceramics, some acting as an additional feature or embellishment to the work, as well as a backing material, while others operate as the key support when placing ceramics on the wall. Some makers will use a material in a purely functional way to help hang the ceramic, while for others it becomes an inherent part of the work itself.

Projects in action
You’ll be inspired by projects that offer a valuable insight into the individual approach to space and process by several ceramicists. Understanding how other makers approach spaces can expand and develop our own practice, perhaps opening up new and exciting opportunities for us to communicate our creative ideas. The makers featured in this chapter offer a stimulating peek into some of their projects: a brief but broad overview of the project, including wherever possible, the beginning of the design process, the making and installation, up to the final outcome on the wall. All the makers featured have designed and made innovative wall pieces that respond directly to a space and their personal vision to transform it. The projects discussed vary in their approach: some are temporary, some are permanent, and the locations vary from public space to private homes. However, all reflect a personal passion to demonstrate ideas on a wall and the use of clay in a contemporary manner. All the wall pieces were designed and made for specific locations. Some locations were selected by the makers, while some pieces are in response to a given location. Designing and making work for a specific location often pushes artists’ boundaries to explore and develop new ideas. One thing all these makers have in common is that their pieces are designed and made in sections. This has given them the chance to work with a variety of scales, and in some cases other materials.

Innovative wall pieces
It’s fascinating to see how the creative ideas of artists combined with their vision for the space as a whole hve transformed an area or wall. Segurado offers a glimpse into the concepts and contemporary approaches these makers have toward wall space, and aims to demonstrate the wide variety. It’s the ideas behind the work that help to create an exciting use of space. Many of the projects discussed introduce a new way of thinking about clay and its interaction with wall surfaces.

The authors
Dominique Bivar Segurado
has been making ceramics since 1999 and has taught ceramics in various colleges, as well as doing an artist’s residency in Taiwan in 2005 and being selected to tour Japan in 2008 by the Arts Council.

Anne Mercedes was born in Paris and taught philosophy both in France and the UK before undertaking her ceramics degree in 2007 at the University of Westminster. She has been awarded associate membership at the Royal British Society of Sculptors.

Other Information

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Softcover | 128 Pages