Making/drawing with words: Form as text, text as form (un-writing and re-writing form)

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Digital making in ceramics can be approximated to a form of drawing. This practice-based research component considered the possibility of forming clay as a digital exercise using Rhino programme as a drawing tool by way of adopting drawing into a craft-based process of making. The article reflects on the the relevance of form-making in clay as a word-led rather than bodily-led model of digital drawing in generating three-dimensional form - a method of hand-making or hand-writing in ceramic craft. It therefore explores form-finding by means of a drawing process of composing and crafting with words, re-articulating the making-process in ceramic craft.

The article examines the physicality and meaning of words derived from actions related to hand-making and the sensorial nature of a written, embodied language. As such it considers the translation of three-dimensional form from performative word-acts of hand-making (rolling, folding, bending, twisting, splitting, wrapping, binding, joining, bonding, stretching, etc.) into a digital vocabulary of drawing commands (rotate, curve, arrange, expand, cut, multiply, etc.)
The experiment signals the difference between sensorial renderings and digital readings in craft and drawing practice, contemplating the role of the language in-between. In doing so, it questions the significance of digital drawing in form-finding in the context of ceramic craft as an approach to generating three-dimensional physical form.

The article features in Volume 3, Issue 1 of ‘Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice’ International Journal, published by Intellect. 2018 (April), edited by Charlie Gere and Doris Rohr. ‘Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice’ is dedicated to promoting and disseminating drawing practice and research in its current cultural and disciplinary diversity. A peer-reviewed academic publication, the journal encourages pluralist forms of discourse that reflect the relationships between drawing practice, theory and their representation in research. It is a forum for engaging interdisciplinary debates on how drawing functions in contemporary culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-97
Number of pages11
JournalDrawing: Research, Theory, Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Apr 2018


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