Physical traces of making through language

Week 3: Thinking about where I was last week with new compositions and objects. Since then I've had a couple of conversations that have led me to begin to look at language. 
Our understanding of particular words and how those words translate into an action, motion or movement. 

Below I've included the written verb list by Richard Serra to which this enquiry completely hinges on and my own list of important words that have relevance either within my making process or my practice as a whole. 

Looking at some of these words more carefully I would say that they definately have a link to the material I'm using. 


I wonder whether this is a case of my material knowledge and understanding or whether I'm making assumptions about the material. If I asked someone to describe clay I wonder whether any of the words I have just used would be included within their own description. 

I think that has to be my next step forward. 

This is an example of a very simply process through the action of pushing using a rolling pin by pressing down using my own body weight and applying pressure. So what we have in this one simple action is the involvement of two to three other words listed above. 


Is there a way that these words and the way we engage with the clay can simply be made by one action through interpretation of the selected word. 

Initially I thought that I was going to strip all tools away. I'm convinced that the hand held pieces of clay can be made through the use of hands and a surface such as a table. 

With regards to scaling the work up, on reflection I think tools will have to be incorporated but again it's very much about how they are being used and this will have to be carefully documented in the same way the smaller works have been. 

Physical traces of making

This exploratory work has been sitting in my sketch book for a while now. I'm revisiting it as I think I've finally formulated my thinking enough to begin to develop it further.

I'm looking at the process of making and the importance of that direct contact or handling of a material through making. In this case I'm using three different clays. 

With a simple set of instructions such as: pushing, squeezing, folding, opening I've been interpreting and responding to these words through the movement and manipulation of the clay itself.

 The initial idea came from looking at Richard Serra's verb list. There is a rhythm to this list in much the same way there is a rhythm to many making processes. 

Each piece of clay begins in the shape of a ball. The idea is to work quickly without over thinking each instruction meaning you are left with an object that hasn't been overworked. All tools have been removed from this process. Every mark, trace and indentation has been made through my hands or contact with the work bench.

I will be posting more images as this begins to unfold. 

All images taken by Ben Winkley 2015