The first round of the #fourweekmake is beginning on Monday 11th May. Join us on the Facebook event page or on Instagram to see the latest news and photos of progress.

I’m going to launch the challenge on Facebook Live at 10:30am on 11th May then I’ll introduce each week on the Monday and show what I’m working on and what I have planned. It would be great if you could join me.

I would also love to see what you’re working on through the challenge. You can share on the Facebook event or the instagram page and , if you don’t do social media, an email to paula@parmstrongceramics.co.uk would be great! (Let me know if your happy for me to share your photo please!)

Working on a design…

As a ceramics teacher I have many students who have learned the main techniques and are working on developing their skills who ask about developing their creative ideas.  They look on the internet for inspiration and rarely are they short of ideas for things to make but they don’t feel like they are being ‘creative’.  Sooo…I’ve put together this four week long challenge based on my own creative process that is a combination of learned processes (from Art College and other courses) and my own ways of working.  Some of these will work for you and some most definitely will not but the idea is that the process will (I hope!) leave you with a much better understanding of developing ideas from inspiration through to a finished piece, in whatever medium you choose to work.

I’d love to see your progress and to hear what works and what doesn’t work for you.  Please bear in mind, this is based on my personal ways of working and everyone has their own way of doing things so please just take as much or as little as you think will help.  I should also say that creativity isn’t neat and, although I’ve made this a four week challenge, in reality I often have to revisit elements of week 2 or 3 many times before making the finished piece.  This is supposed to be fun so if it’s too much like hard work it may not be for you or it may not be the right time, no pressure.

Week One – EXPLORE INSPIRATION

  1. Identify – find your inspiration
  2. Research – find information and images
  3. Compile – create a sketch book, mood board or wall with all your research materials
  4. Relate – Organise the information and explore connections
  5. Develop – Why did you pick these images/topics? What do you like best? How do they combine?

Week Two – DEVELOPING YOUR IDEAS

  • Play – Combine, abstract, change perspective
  • Play some more!
  • Review – What is working? What do you like? What don’t you like? Do you need to research something else?
  • Add/Remove/Change – Based on your review, take action. What would help you develop your ideas?
  • Refine – begin to refine your ideas. What is it you want to create? One piece or a series? What’s the most important thing for your piece to ‘do’?

Week Three – TESTING AND CREATING

  1. Design – sketch/make/build designs for what you would like to make. Don’t worry about how they look, as long as they mean something to you that’s all that matters!
  2. Prototype – Test your design ideas. Does the reality look as you expected? Do you need to change/develop your processes to make it?
  3. More Prototypes!
  4. Review – What’s working? What’s not? Why not? What else do you need to try? Consider all perspectives and remember, this is as much about what doesn’t work as what does. Failures help.
  5. Refine – What has worked best? What will you take forward?

Week Four – MAKING YOUR ‘FINISHED’ PIECE

  1. Make – create using everything you have learned from the process so far. What scale would work best?
  2. Continue making.
  3. Review – Look with fresh eyes! How is it going? Do you need to change anything? Is there an element that needs more testing?
  4. Finish making.
  5. Refine – look again with fresh eyes. Refine any finishes, add any finishing touches.  ALL DONE!

If you’re using a medium like clay you may need to leave a week or two between weeks 3 and 4 to allow time for firing the prototypes and seeing the full results of your testing. I’m sure with other mediums there will be a reason to adjust the timings so please use this as suits you best.

Terms   |   Policy   |   About

Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.