4. Graffiti*d: A British Ceramics Biennial commission, Stoke, UK (2008-9)
This project was commissioned by the British Ceramics Biennial and was loosely divided into 2 parts. The first was to respond to the now redundant Aynsley factory and all it's glorious contents.
A fantastic building to explore, I was allowed into the transfer room, hundreds of pages strewn across the floor, and stacked on shelves, I chose to work with some edging transfers. Decorating vintage Aynsley pieces with the edging wrapping around the pieces, I explored form through pattern, re-firing the pieces 7 times - each firing recorded on firing cycle sheets from the factory. The resulting pieces demand close inspection and a questioning of the intended purpose for the work - although still functional in form, the pieces are shifted, changed, re positioned.
Alongside these pieces I also dissected the logo of Aynsley, cutting sections of this from a series of small side plates - creating graffiti stencils with which to tag the building. A small, simple step again, but re purposing the plates - presenting them both as functional and decorative simultaneously.
The main body of the project was working in collaboration with a charity in Burslem - Unity supports a group of young people outside of mainstream education by providing alternative educational experiences. Through a series of workshops, we explored ceramics, designing and applying transfers, backstamps, building structures, using both traditional and non traditional processes to alter pieces found at Aynsley. This developed into a large scale graffiti installation which incorporated ceramics plates from charity shops across the city. These plates were removed from the overall installation, photographed and then printed onto a new dinner service. This dinner service will be put into production and sold in the future through the BCB Monkey Business Project.