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Exploring the concept of ceramics mixed media in Ghana

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The introduction of Modern ceramics in Ghana is credited to Michael Cardew between 1942 and 1945, when he taught and worked at Achimota College in Accra and Vume in the Volta region, respectively. Traditionally, the modernist ceramic tradition in Ghana concentrated on form and function, with an emphasis on glazed finishes. It heavily depended on clay and glazes, despite the considerable range of materials that are available for complementing some of the structural, aesthetic and practical limitations that affect the usage of clay for artistic expression. The aim of this study was to move on from the prevailing modernist ceramic tradition by experimenting and reporting on the use of mixed media with clay for the production of forms to create meaning through effects and textures that are difficult to achieve with clay alone. The study used a studio-based experimental research approach involving the manipulation of clay and mixed media. The results obtained from the experimentations with the clay and the mixed media created new aesthetic qualities and emotional experiences that were not possible to achieve with clay alone. The results affirmed that traditional materials, such as rope, fan blades and wood, assume new meanings and effects when added to clay, leading to new opportunities for artistic expression and emotional experience in ceramic art.
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Keywords: aesthetic experience; artistic expression; ceramics; clay; meaning; mixed media

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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  • The aim of Craft Research is to advocate and promote current and emerging craft research, including research into materials, processes, methods, concepts, aesthetic and style. This may be in any discipline area of the applied arts and crafts, including craft education.

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