Raku Workshop with Delia Prvacki
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The first session was a talk which Delia focused on a brief introduction in the world of ceramic art with a very personal interpretation of Raku's origin, as a specific technique for firing clay works. Delia’s intentions was to project the “accidental” discovery of “raku” in the context of Japan’s economic, social, architectural development and transformation in the late 16th century, juxtaposed on aesthetics, craft, religion and philosophy of that time. As such, RAKU became a vehicle for promoting a new life style (tea ceremony and the use of special hand-made tea pots), sophisticated rituals and intellectual, artistic discourse, generating a fresh view and innovative methods of artistic expression, which were owervelmingly embraced, adopted and adapted by Western ceramicists in 20th century, especially with the re-invention and diversification of this medium by American artists in 60s. This latest groups is credited to reinvigorate the technique and to contribute with innovative technology and adventurous logistic and a deep sense of community, ecological principles interwoven in RAKU craft studios.
Delia also explained her concept of the “natural” approach in the raku clay work as the energising force behind the “revolution” produced in the contemporary ceramic art by establishing new criteria for practicing and expressing ideas and creating a new visual language which is emphasised on freedom, spontaneity, improvisation with the ultimate goal to produce an object meant for contemplation. The magic and fascination with colours developing from raw materials, the process of hand-moulding the clay, the adventurous spirit to work directly with the FIRE in order to create the colour effect in a deliberate way, are the starting points for the participants in the workshop to reflect upon and to try to translate in the works they are encouraged to produce during following weeks in the workshop.
Proposed theme for the following sessions is related to idea of human body, skin, personal identity, a similarity to basic characteristics of clay as a material and the tactile and sensual appeal embodied in the completed artwork under FIRE. Delia expressed her views and belief that ceramic works are accessible to every passionate individual, as long as there is sincerity and sense for exploration in the working process. Delia says: Ceramic practice should not be limited to strict rules and the creative activity, it should be accepted as a moment of liberation, allowing our body (through our skin and hand’s work) and our senses (tactile and most importantly, the visual, chromatic appreciation of colours, texture of fired glazes, which all comes from natural, earth and metallic components) to translate our inner world. Watch out for more updates as the works are in progress....
Rohini Yuvaraj (NUS Museum)