Exploring Visual Language

Interpreting Nature’s Language

A Calling

I’m being called to not only to make within nature (in recesses in the earth), but also in hidden alcoves, surrounded by the textures, shapes and aroma of nature.

Exploring Visual Language

Since starting my quest to develop a truly authentic making practise, it now seems I am unable to resist the this calling. When I place myself in her tableau, I become one, privy to her whispers and this enables me to translate what is ‘voiced’ into marks. I enjoy using slips made from the wild clays I’ve foraged in different locations (the locations where I have made ‘Earth Vessels’). This brings another layer of authenticity to the process because I can imbue the feelings of serenity and calm I experienced while making each vessel.

It’s as if the marks I make in present time, are receivers for the original beacon ‘Earth Vessels’. There is an untethered communication, transmitting back and forth linking back to those locations in nature, where I first forged alliance.

Time To Notice Treasures

Exploring Visual Language Twists & Turns

There are the obvious twists and turns, nature’s throbbing energy weaving it’s way from earth to sky; but also, as my heart beat slows and life drops away…I notice tiny treasures. Lichens clasping onto grainy bark, small shoots piecing through to reach the light. Even decay becomes beautiful in the delicate skeleton leaves. There is a whole world around me, beneath me, above me and within me….

So I trust my instincts and move the brush in tune, breathing, acknowledging, interpreting and translating. I build up layers of interpretation, like echos of sound through veils of time.

Exploring Visual Language Feeling My Way

The process is so freeing for my Soul. I feel replenished by the gentle focus, the need to keep in time with her beat. I remain entranced in this process for a timeless moment, creating visual languages on all five test pots…experiments for the next phase in my making practise…

This visual language is giving birth to a voice within me. With time I may build the courage to express nature through my own voice…with sound as well as mark making. I wonder what this will feel like – being a conduit both with action and voice?

Interpreting Nature's Language in Nature Greenware Test Pots by Sonya Wilkins Ceramics

Learning Outcomes:

  • Slips and overglaze pens can successfully be applied to dry greenware.
  • Slips need to be applied in 2 or 3 coats to show in final stoneware firing.
  • Slips and overglaze pens can surprisingly be used over stoneware fired pots if the pot is warmed in the kiln first. Then re-fired to earthenware 1060° to deepen the colours.
  • Paper Porcelain gives the best translucent results.
  • Warming myself up before performing automatic writing and intuitive mark making helps to get me in the ‘flow’ (running Quantum Touch®, meditation or painting).
  • Masters Tutorial Feedback: This kind of symbolic mark making can still seem ‘conscious’ compared to freer sprigged relief impressions (pressing porcelain into tree bark and organic matter). Consider your presence in the process and how this affects the viewers interpretation.

What I’ll do differently in future:

  • Combine intuitive mark making with sprigging relief impressions.
  • Close my eyes when intuitively mark making or automatic writing? See if this brings about a more intuitive, free response.