Monday 25 January 2016

Object Identity: Companions get creative

Charlie with rag pots

Hello, Charlie here. This is the second blog post (read the first one here) of my collaborative project with Emmaus Mossley that aims to work with the companions in a rewarding and creative way to explore identity.

Since Christmas Emmaus has been busy with its usual flow of work as well as the continuation of my project, and introduction of a new student project. Within the new project, two of my fellow Manchester School of Art students (working as Rive Studio) are experimenting with materials and the concept of recycling.

My project has developed to the workshop stage in which me and the companions are working together creatively to produce a series of three dimensional products. Emmaus has provided me with a large cleared workspace, although with constant deliveries and donations, no flat surface stays clear for too long. They have also provided staff cover to help out and fill in, allowing me and the companions the ability to concentrate on the creative stuff. Within this we have also had the chance to get to know one and other better which I think has fed directly into the positive outcomes we have achieved so far.

Thought cloud from MMU design project

The first session was based around wording. This wide ranging session focussed on communication and documentation of anything from ideas and personal views, to nicknames and jobs within Emmaus Mossley. During this session we talked about these narratives and documented them within a large diagram which we will use in later sessions, applying them as transfers directly to ceramics. The session went well and we produced a large diagram full of interesting, touching and funny statements. In addition, some of the group members captured photos and separate written notes that will also be used. As well as being physically applied to ceramics, the discussed ideas will also provide a narrative for the project as a whole.

Moving on to the practical creative sessions and using an abundant material at Emmaus, we made rag pots. These vessels were constructed simply through soaking rags in an adhesive mixture and then draping or wrapping them around formers. As they dry they can be removed and become their own vessel. The workshop was designed to get the companions ‘creatively warmed up’ and ready for the future workshops as well as providing fun - something I think is a huge part of creativity.

Rag pots made by companions as part of MMU design project

The sessions have been very successful with the only issue being getting all the companions together at the same place and time. As the project continues we will collaboratively develop our products through more skilled and creative sessions. Stay tuned for more updates.

Many thanks for reading,

Charlie Manthorp

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