Ceramic Narrative

Ideas    |    Choice   |    Processes   |    Practitioners   |    Documentation

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Browsing for ideas

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As the title of this project is ceramic narrative, I wanted to look at how to create my own narratives to begin. I found the following websites to be helpful:

How to construct a narrative
18 tips for telling a story through artwork
Three Proven Ways to Create Narrative in Illustrations

Picture books
How to make a picture book
How To Create A Fantastic Picture Book

Short stories
How to write a short story
How to Write a Short Story

On one of the above websites, it suggested writing in a HAiku format to make the text more interesting, therefore I looked into Haiku’s to see if this would be a viable option for my Narrative. (Haiku’s can be written in 5-7-5 or 7-9-7 formations.)
How to write a Haiku

I also skim read the following book to help give me direction for this project:
Picture Writing (Write for kids library) by Anastasia Suen (ISBN: 9781582970721)

Word count for Novels and Children’s books
Picture book content
The above two links helped lay out some specifications for picture books that might help when writing my story. For example it gave some of the following advice:

Use a thesaurus – find evocative replacements
If aimed at toddlers or younger ages use short simple sentences
150-300 words
16-32 pages


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This project was created specifically for our end of year exhibition, as I wanted something different to try out and interesting to exhibit. Therefore I decided to try out ceramic painting as it has been something i’ve been meaning to try. Therefore the audience for this piece of work will be aimed at people who will come and see the show. As the show is open to all ages, I wanted to factor this in. As I couldn’t do an in depth story as I only had a few plates to put my story onto, this limited my ideas. I already had a few ideas for children’s picture books, therefore I decided to pursue these further as they would be easy to adapt into a short story.

My story is based on my cat Rory, who eats a lot and sleeps all day. I came up with a nickname for him when he was sat down one day, it looked as if his fat was more of a cape (as he is a very fluffy cat) and one day I started calling him ‘Captain Fatcape’. The story developed as I thought about why Rory might be sleeping all day and how his fat might not actually be fat. This developed into a story where appearances can be deceiving. Some pictures of my cat are below:

Once I had written my story, I listed all of the items I will most like draw for my short story so I could look up image references. This list is as follows:

Captain Hat
Cat Bowl
Cat Food
Back Door
Cartoon Cats
Cats eyes
Children’s superheroes
Norwegian Forest
Daytime / Nightime aspects

I used most of the visual reference in person as I had my own broom, wash-basket, pegs etc all at my disposal.

Processes & Techniques

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Ceramic painting:
Below are some videos that inspired my thought process on how to approach painting my plates.

Ceramic Tools This is a PDF I downloaded to help with ideas on how to decorate my plates.

Some more helpful tips and techniques I found on painting ceramics:
How to use underglaze pens and pencils
3 Ways to paint on ceramic
Best paint for Glass, Ceramics and Metal

Now I knew that I would paint my plates with acrylic paint so as to ensure they wouldnt rub off, I then looked at how to display my plates at the exhibition.

Plate Display Ideas
How To Hang Plates On The Wall


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Sing Ji

Ji’s absolutely adorable cats with stunning large eyes are fantastic inspiration for my drawings of Rory. Ji’s cats’ bodies are curvaceous and beautiful to behold, these simple but beautiful illustrations will definitely help when thinking of designing Rory.

Diana Sudyka

I have always loved Sudyka’s stunning illustrations, as her lively characters and delicate backgrounds with fantastic details are always something I strive for in my work. I love the way she illustrates eyes for her characters making their individual personalities shine through.

Carmen Saldana

Saldana’s astonishing vibrant colours really draw you in to her illustrations, grabbing your attention immediately. Her characters expressive eyes are fantastic, this will be further inspiration for my Rory character.

Evie May Adams

Adams’ perfectly crafted ceramic art is probably the biggest inspiration I have come across when researching this project. Her skilled designs are perfectly crafted, something I will strive to accomplish with my own. I particularly love the fact that she has only used blue for her illustrations with white to frame them. This simple colour palette is something I will also consider when designing my own plates.

Monika Filipina

Filipina’s brilliant cat illustrations will feed my inspiration for creating my own cat illustration. Her beautiful choices of colours and amazing textures make her illustrations really stand out. Even though her illustrations are simple, they encompass vast amounts of detail, this will be something else to consider when creating my character.

Heather Mahler

Mahler’s beautiful and unusual eyes create very beautiful expressive characters. I love the simple choice of colour in her work and again will think about having a limited colour palette for my plate designs. I love how her illustrations are framed with decorative plants, this might be something to do with my own illustrations.

Documentation of working process

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