Thursday, 7 July 2011

Maria Vanhees- a few thoughts

Just sharing a few thoughts in relation to JAC/PIA. I first started studying ceramics in Belgium in 1998 and until I came to Australia to finish my studies in 2004 (La Trobe), I had never even heard about JAC/PIA. We did have a few international ceramics journals, but this was not one of them.

It didn’t take long of course to discover the journal once I started here. I’ve now also just discovered online that 2004 was the year that PIA changed to JAC. No wonder I was well aware of the relation between the two from the start. We were repeatedly told…

I tried to think earlier this week about how or when I have used JAC/PIA and couldn’t remember anything specific. So off I went to the library, sat down cross-legged on the floor in our ceramics journals’ isle and started leafing through every single JAC/PIA journal on the shelf. (By the way, the library here has everything on the shelf from the late 80s till now, but all of the earlier ones starting in the 60s are still available. They are kept in storage and it takes a bit more effort to get to. I’ve never tried…) And yes, there was a lot of work I recognised, some of which I discussed in essays.

How I have used the journal is a lot harder for me to explain (that is if I have a clear idea of it myself). I seem to be very interested in the philosophy behind the work. Titles are very important in that sense. I first read those articles with titles that connect with my own way of thinking. But I will also read those articles with images of work that either relate to my own work in form, or that I just find appealing or interesting for one or another reason. When playing with new ideas, I may also start leafing trough the journals, not so much to look for forms, but for surfaces and textures. Not to copy, but just to see what it triggers in relation to my ideas…

Just to give a couple of examples of things that I had a closer look at (without being related to my own work), while looking through vol 28/2 1989, I found one article on ‘Nederlandse Tegels’ (Dutch tiles, close to home for me, the title was in Dutch???); another one that caught my eye eventually was on Tile Stoves. I nearly overlooked it but it was the wood fired surface that stopped me. As soon as I realised what it was, I actually quite liked the idea of a tile stove (in the right environment). I’ll probably never make one though! And yes, I still need to go back to these articles to read them.

There is probably more I could say, but I’ll leave it here for now. Just one question: with the change from PIA to JAC, I was wondering what the planned changes in relation to content were at the time (if any), and why. I’m sure if I go back and spend a bit more time studying it, I could probably come up with a few answers myself. My first overall impression is that there seems to be less technical information in JAC than in PIA, but I’m not sure if that is right?

Happy to hear any reactions!


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