Moving bodies

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
P1 OPINNÄYTTEET D 2019 Cortés Reina
Degree programme
Moving Bodies is a maker’s personal narrative. It illustrates a journey towards finding one’s voice as a designer through a material experimentation process that resulted in the making of The Moving Bodies. The project begins with self doubt and and a question: “Who am I?”, and continues with the evolution of the author’s thoughts as a maker leading to the creation of his sculpture series Moving Bodies. A material experimentation process in ceramics is narrated through the analysis and self-reflections of the author’s own practice. By studying himself and his own mind, he explores his values and through an hands approach he is able to deeply analyse his intuition, a key point to understand creative decisions. Learning by doing, letting go of set guidelines and prioritising the value of a maker’s process over planning and clear cut results are defining points of this body of work. The narrative is far from linear, conscious design decisions are showcased with a no-nonsense attitude and most importantly, a detailed analysis is made on where those decisions stem from. Moving Bodies does not draw clear lines between experimental ceramic samples, the very first material development tests and the final outcomes. The process of creating or stumbling upon a new ceramic material, followed by trying to master and understand the material results in an extremely hands-on diary focused both on personal thoughts and technical information. Material and maker co-creation as a method is introduced, the moving bodies, free flowing ceramic bodies, is the main collaborator to the maker himself. Every test piece or sculpture is essentially the maker creating a playground for the material to free-flow. Material co-creation is a back and forth dialogue between the maker and the material he is trying to guide, form and understand. The Moving Bodies are created through many unorthodox methods of crafting ceramics and setting up molding and forming techniques for the material in the ceramic kilns (Where the materials go up to 1240 Degrees, melts and re-solidifies). The kilns have to stay closed for long periods of time, which could be up to 48 hours, and it is in fact the material that is at work during this process, completing the task assigned to it by the maker who only has to wait and wonder until it is safe to open the kiln and see what ‘they’ have made. The project Moving bodies is the result of a long hands on process of self-discovery and material experimentation to find a unique voice as a maker. Hands and mind work together through tacit knowledge and that is a maker’s biggest strength in order to embed a story, a meaning in the piece itself. The making process of Moving Bodies is a recollection of thoughts, events and objects that allow the reader and viewer to understand how and why a process of material experimentation facilitated a personal process of discovery.
Mäkelä, Maarit
Thesis advisor
van der Lei, Anna
design, moving bodies, experimental, material, ceramics, identity, process, movement
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