Manchester School of Art
“Tactile experience is very important as an aesthetic dimension in sculpture. Our knowledge of shape and form remains, in general, a mixture of visual and of tactile experiences. A child learns to judge distance by touching things and our sense of sight is always closely associated with our sense of touch.”
Henry Moore, 1980
Tactility was a word I first came across in my 1st year at university, when we were given a project called ‘Pick Me Up’. The idea that something could be made that was so beautiful and intriguing that one just had to pick it up fascinated me and I explored this idea throughout my BA course.
During my research I noticed a reluctance from other people to handle ceramics and so decided to take a familiar form and tactile situation as my basis for development, hoping that this familiarity would pass to my work, making people more relaxed. I chose the common past time of walking along a beach and collecting pebbles and shells, as this is an action surrounded by aesthetic preference, intrigue, desire and tactile interaction.
The pieces created are pebble-like in form and most importantly the majority are solid as I found that weight plays an important part in making people feel comfortable handling ceramics. The pieces are also decorated with textural areas, small holes, barnacles and gold lustre to create intrigue, which encourages a closer tactile exploration of the form.