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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 project considered the possibility of forming clay using the Rhino programme as a drawing tool by way of adopting drawing into a craft-based process. This paper reflects on the nature of digital drawing as a word-led rather than bodily-led process 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. 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. 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 exercise 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 the context of ceramic craft as an approach to generating three-dimensional physical form.
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Keywords: clay; digital drawing; hybrid practice; physicality; sensory language; text-form; three-dimensional forming; word-led making

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ulster University

Publication date: April 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice promotes and disseminates drawing research with a focus on contemporary practice and its theoretical context. This journal seeks to reestablish the materiality of drawing as a medium at a time when virtual, on-line, electronic media dominates visuality and communication.

    This peer-reviewed publication represents drawing as a significant discipline in its own right and in a diversity of forms: as an experimental practice, as research, as representation and/or documentation, as historical and/or theoretical exploration, as process or as performance. It explores the drawing discipline across fine art, science and engineering, media and communication, psychology, architecture, design, science and technology, textiles, fashion, social and cultural practices.

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