Image: Jackie Maurer receiving her 2012 Future Makers Award from Sonya Lennon
What does your Future Makers Student Award mean to you?
To produce a series of ceramic objects that step outside the common characteristics of clay and for the work to be recognised and accepted in the contemporary crafts world has been a great achievement for me. This recognition has given me the added confidence in my work and the award has given me the freedom to develop and further the idea more.
The future maker student award is also a great profile for me as a student to have received at the end of my college degree. It’s a strong starting point for me as an emerging maker and I’m very privileged to have received the award.
What do you enjoy most about working in ceramics?
Using clay as your medium to express your artistic ideas can be a very challenging and technical process. The understanding of these processes is one element that attracts me to clay. To begin your work with just a simple piece of soft clay made from various different natural elements and to be able to form and manipulate that clay in to recognisable objects or forms is an exciting yet sometimes disappointing area to work within.
Questioning the probable or expected outcomes that are often identified with clay and using the medium in a non traditional way and searching for alternative outcomes is also at the fore front of my ceramic artist practice. These are the main aspect that I enjoy whilst working in ceramics.
How important are influence and originality in the design work that you do?
Influences are very important to me, to be influenced by something is generally my starting point that drives my imagination or my creative taught to develop something further. It’s in this development stage that I strive to create work that has a reconigizable aspect to those influence but is original in its own way. The main inspiration for the ceramic neck pieces came from looking at the natural, fabricated and the choreographed movements of the human body.
I’m excited by its gestural and rhythmical movements and how we use objects i.e., (jewellery, clothes, fashion), to adorn and embellish the body. It’s these elements that help me create work which was original to me.
In what way do you consider flexibility and emotion to be a part of 21st century functionality in design?
Functionality has always been an important factor in my work, having trained and worked as a functional potter for over 12 years. The Wearable Art body of work that I have produced in the last year combines functionality with a certain kind of poetics; the body of the wearer is structured by the work, it directs their behaviour through the imposition of certain restrictions on movement. The fragility and vulnerability of the individual are emphasised and exaggerated.
The fluidity of the shapes give the works a flexible appearance; from a distance, the work does not appear to be ceramic, but is more like cloth. This is very much in contrast to the experience of wearing the pieces – although they are comfortable and pleasing to touch, they are rigid and delicate.
As a 21st Ceramic designer, my work captures and portrays through objects certain feelings about the individual in society, particularly in the challenging and sometimes threataning times in which we live.