Accentuate the Negative. - Tracy Dryden-Jones

Inspiration details:

Grille

Grille of wrought mild steel

Germany (made)

1980 (made)

Klaus Walz, born 1924 (made)

Wrought mild steel

V&A collection reference number(s):
M.947-1983

Artist Statement

Tracy Dryden-Jones

My work was inspired by the spaces between the metal curves of the Klaus Walz grille. I was drawn to its elegant, free-flowing design and by being able to look through it to the room beyond.

I enjoy blending clay and metal and, for this piece, I combined fine silver clay and nichrome wire with black stoneware, for colour and robustness, and porcelain paper clay for contrast and flexibility. Care had to be taken with the differing shrinkage rates of these materials, particularly as I fired these straight to high fire. I tested the clays in both electric and gas reduction kilns, to find the blackest outcome for the stoneware tiles and show that I could successfully fire the two clays when bonded together. Silver clay was painted onto the porcelain forms and fired for a second, shorter time at a much lower temperature. It was then burnished to a high shine. Nichrome wire was threaded at the final stage. The college technicians provided invaluable help and advice whilst testing and firing this work.

I traced out numerous shapes from a photograph taken at the V&A and created a collage from which I modelled forms in wax and cast plaster moulds to use to form the porcelain additions. The rectangular shape of the wall piece reflects the shape of the original grille. The black stoneware represents the colour of the grille; the white porcelain with silver edges resembles the light that shines through the grille from the room beyond. Each tile is knitted together with nichrome wire. Nichrome wire is used in ceramics as it can withstand high temperatures and for the purpose of this I also felt using it linked the ceramic tiles as the spaces between the metalwork linked the grille together.

Accentuate the Negative. - Tracy Dryden-Jones

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Inspiration details:

Grille

Grille of wrought mild steel

Germany (made)

1980 (made)

Klaus Walz, born 1924 (made)

Wrought mild steel

V&A collection reference number(s):
M.947-1983

2015 Exhibition Guide

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