Built Metropolis Project


Built Metropolis


For the Built Metropolis project, we first took a class orientation at the ceramics lab in order to gain the sticker that would let us into the lab. During the orientation, we learned about the lab itself and the rules we need to follow. We also briefly learned about the process of making ceramics and directions for using machines and tools at the lab. After we were done with the orientation, we had to take a short quiz through the school website to achieve the sticker. I successfully passed the test, which relieved my worries about failing. I felt very nervous and fresh about this learning of ceramics because it isn’t hard to say that this was my first time entering the ceramics. Even though I have learned and actually made the ceramics before, since it was when I was really young, like elementary school, I really don’t remember anything related to ceramics. Therefore, with some sort of worries, I went to class and started to make our own building ceramic. I chose the red clay instead of the white clay in order to give a realistic feeling of the building; the building I chose, Northern Dispensary, was made out of red bricks. It was hard to deal with the clay, but I had so much fun touching the clay and making my own building ceramic. We left our work at the shelf assigned for our class and came back after spring break to finish it up. Even in our class after the break, I couldn’t finish making it, so I had to come back the day after class to finish it up. It took me more than 8 hours, including class time, to complete making it. I stayed at the lab until it was closing at night. I placed my building ceramic in the bisque shelf for the firing. The firing was planned on Tuesday, 4 days after I finished making it. It was enough time to let it dry before firing. On Thursday, I went down to the lab to pick up my building ceramic. It was different from what I expected. I expected it to be redder in a darker shade, but it actually turned out to be a pinkish color. It was unexpected, but I liked it. I brought it up to our class and our classmates’ ceramics were displayed all together. We did a critique for the project, which I learned a lot from other people’s work and got some feedback for my project. In terms of my goals for this project, I think I accomplished them. I was able to learn ceramics again and make a building ceramic that was a rare choice of ceramics that I can think of. It was a pleasure for me to use different tools and materials to recreate the existing building through my own exploration. Through the process and critique of the project, I was able to learn and realize how to develop my thinking process and techniques about ceramics and art, in general.





(Photos from Aviva)


For this project, I focused on both the concept and the goal. In terms of the concept, I wanted to emphasize the shape of the building and its simplistic design. I first shaped 3 sides of the triangular shapes and 1 side of the rectangular shape to build a basic shape of the building. When joining the clays, I scored the parts where the two clays attach and add some slips on top to enhance their attachment. I was supposed to use slurry for the attachment, but it wasn’t present at the lab when I was working. Thus, I asked the professor for the use of the slip. Thankfully, it turned out to work very well. There were no parts that were broken or unattached after the bisque firing. Other than the basic structure, I added 12 windows on each side of the building. I didn’t add a door in purpose because nowadays this building is known to be closed permanently. Because I wanted to show this fact through its design, I removed the doors that exist in real life. Moreover, in terms of the goal, I spent many hours to increase its degree of completeness. I put my best effort to enhance the craftsmanship of the project and tried my best to interpret the building with my own visions and values. Also, other than the class time, I went to the lab to finish up my building ceramic before Tuesday morning, which was the time assigned for the bisque firing. I scheduled myself ahead of time to let it dry completely before the firing, which eventually led to a successful outcome. Even though the color and mood of the building ceramic came out differently from what I expected, I still liked this another mood of it. Its pinkish color helps the viewers to look at it as a sculpture, an artwork. The building’s realistic color like rosewood color would have made the viewers think of it as a smaller model for the building. However, as it resulted in a unique color, it gave a chance to raise its artistic value. Although the process involved some small issues, such as using slips instead of slurry and receiving a building ceramic in a unique color, the final outcome is very satisfying and successful to me because of its style, design, and craftsmanship. I feel very proud of this project.



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