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Tableware for everyday food and feast: the ceramics of Fay Morris.

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This practice-based MAFA-R consists of integrated theoretical and practical components. The theoretical component is divided into two volumes, with Volume I looking at the potential of commensality (eating together) to create a sense of community, whether tableware can enhance communal eating and a discussion of original tableware created by Fay Morris. Volume II, the Ceramics studio manual, documents technical knowledge gained through the research and studio practice of Fay Morris. This includes information such as ceramic raw materials, studio safety and other practical guidelines that would assist practitioners setting up a ceramics studio. An exhibition of selected tableware created by the researcher-practitioner forms the practical component. Several theories and philosophies underpin this research. Academic findings on commensality and its potential to create a sense of community are explored. The value of handmade utilitarian wares in our culture of mass production and convenience is discussed as well as the Japanese philosophy that ceramic wares have spiritual content. Furthermore, the Japanese method of kintsukuroi is found to be a personal metaphor for healing. The practical component involves the creation of original tableware for everyday use and festive occasions. Unique ceramic wares, some with glass components, are created using the methods of throwing, slip-casting and glass slumping. Details referencing rockpool life are incorporated into many festive wares, inviting close inspection. Both functional and aesthetic considerations for tableware are taken into account. Adopting a practice-based approach, studio practice is built on tacit knowledge and existing skills. New knowledge and additional skills are acquired through practice and discoveries direct further research. Thumbnail images in text illustrate these discoveries.


Master of Arts in Fine Art. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2018.