Introduction

My chosen primary formal skill for this project is hand built functional ware; The theme I have chosen is nature.

The idea for the theme of nature arose from the recognition that being in natural surroundings is my ideal place for tranquillity. Living in the suburbs of Leicester, my most treasured memories with friends are the times I spent in areas surrounded by greenery, getting lost in conversation for hours on end. Similarly, whilst living in the city centre of Cardiff my favourite times have been the trips I have had to the nearby beaches, where I  camp with friends and pass time by building fires and clambering over rocks looking for crabs. Both of these areas are still completely within civilisation yet ignite my imagination with a soothing sense of being miles away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It is these places that I most enjoy practising photography, where you feel you have the time to just stop and notice the beautiful subtleties and details that nature provides.
This freedom always seems to regress my imagination back through memories of playing at and reading about faeries. In particular I often recall ‘a fairy tale’ – a film based on the Cottingley fairies photographs which featured a beautiful fairy house decorated with moss, which utilised acorn shells as cups and contained chairs that were constructed of vines and twigs. I completely fell in love with the delicate and detailed nature of the creation and always desired to build one, but never did. The desire to create domestic wares suitable for the majestic likes of fairies and elves is what inspired the decision to make functional ware. However this is just how the idea of combining functional ware with nature came about, and not a proposed plan for research and design.

The decision to use hand building as my primary construction method was a natural decision based on my strengths, past preference and largest desire to improve upon.

Some starting points for my research include:

  • Visually exploring the connection between a chosen function and the theme of nature. Harnessing memories/photographs to potentially create a narrative or moral.
  • The contrast between domestic wares and nature on a metaphorical level. (To remind the viewer/user of the importance of relaxation during everyday life.)
  • Exploring folk art. (The concept of folk art is fitting to the inspiration behind the ideas for my project. Also often a good media for narrative and aesthetically fitting to initial ideas.)
  • Exploring illustration. (Often a good media for narrative.)
  • Exploring the concept of wabi sabi in relation to functional wares

fairy house
(Above: Still from ‘A Fairy Tale’ featuring the house referenced.)