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Catch
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00100545/00001
 Material Information
Title: Catch
Physical Description: Project in lieu of thesis
Language: English
Creator: Debuse, Chandra ( Dissertant )
Arbuckle, Linda ( Thesis advisor )
Publisher: College of Fine Arts, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010
Copyright Date: 2010
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 Notes
Abstract: Play is a joyful activity. From an evolutionary standpoint, play, like sex and nourishment, offers far-reaching benefits to individuals and to society. Adults, children, and animals play to learn about themselves and the world around them. Play can make us smarter. It teaches problem-solving skills, reinforces social behaviors, and offers an opportunity for us to dream. The intensity of Americans' drive to play is matched by the drive toward achievement. The slogan "work hard, play hard" suggests punctuating intense workweeks with equally intense leisure activities. The pace of this lifestyle culminates in physical, emotional, and financial stress. Instead of binge play, Americans would be better served by adopting playful attitudes to guide their daily lives. Research shows that success is related to play in humans. Among animals, survival is linked to playful socialization. Catch is an installation of ceramic service ware that playfully narrates four phases of achievement (desire, chase, catch, and hoard) through the eyes of a squirrel. The squirrel serves as a metaphor for a goal-seeking, yet impulsive individual. The ceramic forms, colored in candied pastel pink, orange, blue and green are composed of rhythmic bouncing lines, referencing the path of a squirrel as it scampers among trees. Voluminous three-dimensional forms serve as the playground for graphic narration. Each vessel form becomes the landscape where the squirrel enacts a particular phase of achievement. Ceramic acorns scattered throughout the installation display candy-colored and seductive glaze surfaces to represent each phase of achievement. The abundance of acorns (objects of desire) tempts and distracts the squirrel from the end goal: the golden acorn (a symbol of the prize). Catch reminds the viewer of the value of a light-hearted, playful attitude in the life journey, an attitude especially needed during goal seeking. As a squirrel peers across a line of cups looking for the nut, human fingers seek out their own nourishment by roaming the topography of a plate. Despite the adage "don't play with your food," ceramic vessels have historically served as objects of amusement. English fuddling cups and puzzle jugs make games of consuming liquids. Greek rhytons performed the dual roles of cup and facemask. Amid the strict roles of Victorian society, tables were abundant with majolica serving pieces displaying light-hearted decorative scenes. My ceramic designs continue this tradition of invention in form and surface, inviting the user to consider fresh interpretations of service ware. The interaction between user and object sparks a playful attitude.
Acquisition: Ceramics terminal project
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: Permissions granted to the University of Florida Institutional Repository and University of Florida Digital Collections to allow use by the submitter. All rights reserved by the author.
System ID: UF00100545:00001

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Copyright
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Abstract
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Main
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
Full Text










CATCH


By
CHANDRA DEBUSE













A PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF FINE ARTS


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
2010

















































2010 Chandra DeBuse











2









TABLE OF CONTENTS
L IS T O F F IG U R E S ....................................... ....................................... 4
A B S T R A C T ......... .. ........................................................................... . .. 5
P R O JE C T R E PO R T .................................................................................. 7
Intro d uctio n .................................................... ................. ...... ... .... . . 7
P la y .......................................................................................... . . 7
Benefits of Play .................................. ........................................... ... 7
D e fin in g P la y ................................................................. ............... 8
Play and Achievement............................ ............... 8
Play in Anim al Behavior .................................... ............................... 9
T he W o rk................................................................. .... ..... ... ..... 10
S strategies .................................. ...................... .................. . 10
Insta llatio n .................................................... ................... .... .. ... . ... 1 1
D e sire: T re at S e rve rs .................................................................. 12
Chase: Cups................................ ............ ............... 12
C a tch: P la te s ................... ................................. 13
Hoard: Acorn Pile and Hoarding Jar........................... ................................ 13
Influences .................................. ...................... .................. . 14
C o n c lu s io n .................................................... ................. ................ 1 4
A P P E N D IX ..................................16.........................
F ig u re s ......................................................................................... 1 6
T technical Statem ent .................................... ................... ...... 22
LIS T O F R E F E R E N C E S ......................................................... ......... ......... .. .... 24
BIO G RAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................. ............... 25









LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page
1 Desire: Treat Servers. 16
A) Installation view. B) Detail.


2 Catch, Installation View 17


3 Chase: Cups. 18
A) Installation view. B) Detail. C) Detail


4 Catch: Plates. 19
A) Detail. B) Detail. C) Detail. D) Detail. E).
Installation view.

5 Hoard: Hoarding Jar and Acorn Pile 21

A) Installation view. B) Detail. C) Detail









Summary of Project in Lieu of Thesis
Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Master of Fine Arts

CATCH

By

Chandra DeBuse

May 2010

Chair: Linda Arbuckle

Major: Art

Play is a joyful activity. From an evolutionary standpoint, play, like sex and

nourishment, offers far-reaching benefits to individuals and to society. Adults, children,

and animals play to learn about themselves and the world around them. Play can make

us smarter. It teaches problem-solving skills, reinforces social behaviors, and offers an

opportunity for us to dream.

The intensity of Americans' drive to play is matched by the drive toward

achievement. The slogan "work hard, play hard" suggests punctuating intense

workweeks with equally intense leisure activities. The pace of this lifestyle culminates in

physical, emotional, and financial stress. Instead of binge play, Americans would be

better served by adopting playful attitudes to guide their daily lives. Research shows

that success is related to play in humans. Among animals, survival is linked to playful

socialization.

Catch is an installation of ceramic service ware that playfully narrates four

phases of achievement (desire, chase, catch, and hoard) through the eyes of a squirrel.

The squirrel serves as a metaphor for a goal-seeking, yet impulsive individual. The









ceramic forms, colored in candied pastel pink, orange, blue and green are composed of

rhythmic bouncing lines, referencing the path of a squirrel as it scampers among trees.

Voluminous three-dimensional forms serve as the playground for graphic narration.

Each vessel form becomes the landscape where the squirrel enacts a particular phase

of achievement. Ceramic acorns scattered throughout the installation display candy-

colored and seductive glaze surfaces to represent each phase of achievement. The

abundance of acorns (objects of desire) tempts and distracts the squirrel from the end

goal: the golden acorn (a symbol of the prize).

Catch reminds the viewer of the value of a light-hearted, playful attitude in the life

journey, an attitude especially needed during goal seeking. As a squirrel peers across a

line of cups looking for the nut, human fingers seek out their own nourishment by

roaming the topography of a plate.

Despite the adage "don't play with your food," ceramic vessels have historically

served as objects of amusement. English fuddling cups and puzzle jugs make games

of consuming liquids. Greek rhytons performed the dual roles of cup and facemask.

Amid the strict roles of Victorian society, tables were abundant with majolica serving

pieces displaying light-hearted decorative scenes. My ceramic designs continue this

tradition of invention in form and surface, inviting the user to consider fresh

interpretations of service ware. The interaction between user and object sparks a

playful attitude.









PROJECT REPORT

Introduction

Catch, my project in lieu of thesis, encourages a playful attitude by narrating a

story of achievement through the metaphor of a squirrel. Through displaying the

narration of Catch on functional service ware in a fantastical woodland installation, I

create for the viewer an experience and a memory of a playful story, which can be

revisited through the intimacy of use.

In his book, "Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things,"

Donald Norman explores the effects of human interaction with objects. He states, "a

good way to bring fun and enjoyment to our lives is to trust in the skill of artists"

(Norman, p 101). By using objects that give us joy, the urge to play can be sparked.

Play, in turn, provides physiological and emotional benefits, which can aid in

brainstorming and coping (Norman, p 104), potentially enriching lives.

Play

Benefits of Play

Play can be a joyful activity. From an evolutionary standpoint, play, like sex and

nourishment, offers far-reaching benefits to individuals and to society. Adults, children,

and animals play to learn about themselves and the world around them. Play can make

us smarter (Brown, p 33). Current research indicates that play increases quality of life

(Brown p 7, Burghardt, p 402). Play teaches problem-solving skills, reinforces social

behaviors (Burghardt p 399), and offers an opportunity for us to dream. Individuals who

engage in playful activities throughout the lifespan sustain benefits to the brain and to

the body (Brown, p 71).









Research shows that success is related to play in humans. Positive psychologist

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined the term, "flow," to describe the immersion one

experiences when completely absorbed in an activity. Play, like flow, has been linked to

increased creativity (Csikszentmihalyi 1996).

Defining Play

Because play is experienced emotionally and physically, like a gorgeous sunset,

or delicious meal, it tells more through experience than definition (Brown, p 18). While

an exact scientific definition of play has yet to be formulated (Burghardt, pp 6-7), many

attempts at defining play share common properties: play is voluntary, primarily

purposeless, pleasurable, repeated, un-self-conscious, improvisational, low-risk, and

stimulates a feeling of immersion (Burghardt, p 382, Brown p 17). Many Americans

define leisure as an acceptable form of play for adults, and because of leisure's

association with freedom, many mistakenly view leisure as a mutually exclusive

counterpoint to work.

Play and Achievement

This was no time for play
This was no time for fun
This was no time for games
There was work to be done.
--Dr. Seuss from The Cat in the Hat Comes Back! 1958

Paradoxes of our American culture include our view of work and play as

dichotomies. Both are important to Americans. Work and profit are the cornerstones of

our capitalist society, but many individuals view a playful approach to life as the ideal.

The intensity of Americans' drive to play is matched by the drive toward achievement.

The slogan "work hard, play hard" suggests punctuating intense workweeks with equally









intense leisure activities. If not balanced with healthy choices for recreation, the pace of

this lifestyle can culminate in physical, emotional, and financial stress.

Play's opposite is not work. In fact, the two can overlap and can be

interchanged, sometimes mistakenly (Bowman, p 62). Profiles of a golfer who hurls his

club across the field in a fit of miserable anger and the office worker who makes a light-

hearted game out of filing reports do not coincide with common definitions of play and

work. Play expert, Stuart Brown argues that the real opposite of play is depression or

monotony (Brown, p 126).

When humans adopt playful attitudes to guide their daily lives, they can attain

work/life balance (Hartung, 2002). To have a fulfilling and productive life, one needs to

engage in mental and behavioral play, which aids in the satisfaction of accomplishment

(Burghardt, p 402).

Play in Animal Behavior

Much of the research on play, particularly play behavior in animals, is anecdotal.

Although play in animals can be observed and often proven, play lacks one solid

scientific definition to apply to both human and animal behaviors. Because we cannot

ascertain the mindset of animals, humans unavoidably anthropomorphize while labeling

animal behaviors.

Animals can be observed engaging in spontaneous play, either in social groups

or individually, perhaps with an object. Bob Fagan, an expert in animal play behavior

explains (during an interview in Brown, p 32) the value of animal play in survival as

"pretend rehearsal for the challenges and ambiguities of life, a rehearsal in which life

and death are not at stake."









Because humans anthropomorphize the behaviors we see in animals, we might

label a squirrel's quick, staccato movements as playful, when in fact the movements are

biologically based (Gurnell, p 76). The squirrel is an ideal metaphor for playful behavior

because of these anthropomorphic qualities.

The Work

Catch is an installation of ceramic service wares including cups, plates, a jar, and

candy dishes that playfully narrate four phases of achievement (desire, chase, catch,

and hoard) through the eyes of a squirrel. The hand-drawn, anthropomorphized

squirrel in black and white serves as a metaphor for a goal-seeking, yet impulsive

individual. The absence of the squirrel drawings and the placement of the wares in

relation to the viewer in the first and fourth phases of the installation, allows the viewer

the chance to step into the role of the squirrel.

Strategies

The functional ceramic service ware in Catch aims to spark a playful attitude in

the viewer. Through the installation, I create an experience and memory of a playful

story, which can be revisited through the intimacy of use. My strategies include color-

coding, graphic narration, and spatial design of grouped vessels.

Color instantly conveys meaning (Eisman, p 6). Because we have an associative

memory of color (Eisman, p 13), the phases of achievement within my installation

design are color-coded. This emotionally contributes to the readability of the narration

and to the formation of memory in the viewer. I selected de-saturated colors of medium

value to reference the candied pastels of my own childhood memories of growing up in

the late 1970s and early 1980s.









Stuart Brown suggests that people can regain a sense of play by visualizing an

experience where the qualities of play were felt (Brown, p 153). Brown describes that

through imaginative play we "(capture) a pretend narrative and (combine) it with the

reality of one's experience" to gain a better understanding of the world we live in

(Brown, 36). Catch's relationship to comics through graphic narration creates a sense

of accessibility. The black and white drawings are easily read and understood,

employing exaggeration, humor, and metaphor; and facilitating the viewer's ability to

capture the narrative of the squirrel and apply it to his or her own life. According to Wil

Eisner, comics are frequently used to instruct the reader in a humorous and entertaining

way by using exaggeration and visual analogies (Eisner, p 140).

Imagery is sequenced like a scene in a flipbook or filmstrip to give a sense of

movement across grouped forms. Images also appear in sequence across the wall

space. The squirrel appears running through the air. This is achieved by placing

sculptural platters into sequence and planning rotations as though the squirrel is turning

as it runs toward its goal.

Installation

Color-coded to represent each distinct phase, the ceramic forms in candied

pastel pink (desire); orange (chase), blue (catch), and green (hoard) are composed of

rhythmic bouncing lines. The lines reference the path of a squirrel as it scampers

among trees. Voluminous three-dimensional ceramic forms serve as the playground for

graphic narration. Each vessel form, containing two-dimensional and three-dimensional

references to landscape becomes the scene where the squirrel enacts a particular

phase of achievement. A ten-foot tree, rendered in low relief and two-dimensional line,









holds acorns high above the viewer's head and spans the corner of the installation.

Ceramic acorns scattered throughout the installation display candy-colored and

seductive glaze surfaces also representing each phase of achievement. The

abundance of acorns tempts and distracts the squirrel from the end goal: the golden

acorn, which serves as a symbol of the prize.

Desire: Treat Servers

The first phase in Catch, "Treat Servers" (fig 1), displays a voluminous tree-like

two-tiered candy dish and a shallow dish with a nestled golden spoon. These objects of

desire are perched on a shelf just above eye level to appear beyond reach. Golden

acorns, referencing candy, sit atop the dishes. The viewer catches a glimpse of the

shimmering treats from across the room, but the prize remains elusive as the viewer

approaches. The "Treat Servers" are colored in a sugary pink pastel, with modeled

acorn adornments. Associated with the sweet tastes and smells of candy (Eisman, p

24), pink is strategically used to create a feeling of desire in the viewer. The high

placement of the candy dishes is seductive but offers little reward, arousing a sense of

curiosity and motivated desire.

Chase: Cups

The cornerstone of the installation is a ten-foot tree, fabricated and rendered

using stryofoam and plaster. This low relief tree-form aesthetically ties the phases

together through a combination of two-dimensional line and three-dimensional limbs.

Strategically placed colored acorns hang from the monochromatic grey branches placed

at key intervals on the walls (fig 2). The tree serves as a shelf for five cups, which

narrate the "Chase" (fig 3a). The first cup shows a two-dimensional squirrel wistfully









looking across a line of cups (fig 3b). Orange, the brightest and warmest of the colors in

the installation, arouses a sense of movement appropriate to the "Chase." In addition to

energy, orange is associated with fun, whimsy and childhood (Eisman, p 63). An orange

bouncing line traveling from one cup to the next shows the potential path of the squirrel

as it reaches the prize, a three-dimensional golden acorn hanging from a branch (fig

3c).

Catch: Plates

Sequential images on four plates tell the story of the squirrel catching the acorn.

The viewer follows the squirrel as it reaches for the acorn, catches in mid-air more than

he can handle, and victoriously tackles a larger-than-life nut as another looms in the air

above him, tempting and taunting him (figs 4a-d). The placement of "Plates" on the wall

restates the bouncing line seen throughout the installation and the work (fig 4e). The

pace of the installation slows with the blue of "Catch." The medium-toned blue indicates

calm and satisfaction (Eisman, 63).

Hoard: Acorn Pile and Hoarding Jar

As the viewer traces the implied line of "Plates," the eyes are directed toward a

swirling pile of acorns, which lead to a tree-stump pedestal holding an acorn jar (fig 5,

5a). The acorns, color-coded to represent each phase of the installation, are

methodically collected and categorized, leading the viewer away from the wall to a

pedestal in the shape of a tree stump. Surrounded by smaller acorns, a green acorn jar

sits on top of the stump. The hoarding jar is colored green to represent abundance and

greed (Eisman, p 45). Hanging from a branch of the tree stump is a single golden acorn

(fig 5b). The placement of the golden acorn, a symbol of the prize, on the opposite side









of the collected acorn pile, and still connected to the tree, indicates that it has not yet

been picked. The squirrel's hunger for the prize is not quite satiated and the quest will

remain incomplete.

Influences

Despite the adage "don't play with your food," ceramic vessels have historically

served as objects of amusement. English fuddling cups and puzzle jugs make games

of consuming liquids. Greek rhytons performed the dual roles of cup and facemask.

Amid the strict roles of Victorian society, tables were abundant with majolica serving

pieces displaying light-hearted decorative scenes. My ceramic designs continue this

tradition of invention in form and surface, inviting the user to consider fresh

interpretations of service ware.

I am drawn to contemporary ceramic artists who use two-dimensional surface as

a conceptual strategy to embellish a usable and tangible three-dimensional form. Kathy

King uses text, imagery, visual pun and humor in her underground comic-inspired

ceramic works to convey a personal narrative. King's surfaces embellish and complete

the three-dimensional forms. Her palette is mainly black with white and highlights of

color. Kevin Snipes employs a seemingly contradictory primitive sophistication in his

urban-inspired drawings on geometric boxes. He treats two sides of the form

conceptually separate, often explaining dichotomies or opposite forces on front and

back.

Conclusion

Catch reminds the viewer of the value of a light-hearted, playful attitude in the life

journey, an attitude especially needed during goal seeking. As squirrels peer across a









line of cups looking for the nut, human fingers seek out their own nourishment by

roaming the topography of a plate or candy dish. Through experiencing the narration of

Catch on functional service ware in a playful woodland installation, I create a memory of

play, which the viewer can continue to experience through the intimacy of use. The

interaction between user and object sparks a playful attitude.









APPENDIX

Figures


Figure 1: Desire: Treat Servers. A) Installation view. B) Detail.

































Figure 2: Catch, Installation View






































Figure 3: Chase: Cups. A) Installation view. B) Detail. C) Detail































-C'

L ~.




















DDD DD















E
Figure 4: Catch: Plates. A) Detail. B) Detail. C) Detail. D) Detail. E). Installation view.






































B











Figure 5: Hoard: Hoarding Jar and Acorn Pile. A) Installation view. B) Detail. C) Detail.









Technical Statement


Clay Body
I used Val Cushing's Cone 6 recipe for porcelain from Julia Galloway's website
(http://www.iuliaqallowav.com/alchemv. html).
EPK Kaolin 35
Tile 6 Kaolin 15
Nepheline Syenite 23
Flint 22
XX Sagger Ball Clay 5
Bentonite 3
Building Methods
I constructed the plates and other horizontal forms by rolling out /4 inch slabs
over bisque hump molds. I create the feet by using plywood drop molds of various sizes
and shapes. Cups and the jar were wheel-thrown and altered with hand built additions.
The acorn on the last cup in the sequence was hand-modeled and attached with
nichrome wire. Acorns were wheel-thrown or slip cast from a wheel-thrown original.
Acorn petals were stamped and hand-applied and then carved with detail lines.
Surfacing the Greenware
I created patterned lines of the bark through the mishima technique by using an
exacto knife and inlaying Amaco Velvet Underglaze in the lines. The excess
underglaze is wiped off with a wet sponge at the bone dry stage. The drawings are
rendered on paper then positioned and transferred to the ware with transparency film. I
create an underpainting with watered-down Amaco Velvet Undgerglaze. The drawings
are completed through a combination of sgraffito and brushing on more underglaze in
areas.
Surfacing the Bisqueware
Sanding is necessary to remove the excess underglaze from the areas of
mishima. Areas of color are achieved by painting between the lines with colored
commercial underglazes. I use a combination of colored glazes first then clear glazes
on the forms through spraying or dipping. Painter's tape, latex wax with Murphy's Oil









Soap, or transparent contact paper masks off the unglazed areas. Forbes wax with
Acrylic Medium masks the glazed areas.
The work is fired to cone 6, with a 30-minute soak at maximum temperature and
a controlled cooling of 100 degrees an hour until 1850 degrees.
The golden acorns were lustered with Hanovia Bright Gold.
Installation Methods
I created the low-relief tree, tree stump, and wall shelf by using 2-inch blue
Styrofoam insulation board, sur-formed and plastered. Plywood supports were adhered
to the back of the wall-hung forms. I painted the plastered surfaces with latex interior
house paint. Tree leaf shapes were cut from craft foam and painted with latex interior
paint.









LIST OF REFERENCES


Bowman, J.R. (1987). Making Work Play. In Gary Alan Fine, Meaningful Play,
Playful Meaning (pp 61-71). Champagne, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers.
Brown, S., Vaughan, C., (2009). Play: how it shapes the brain, opens the
imagination, and invigorates the soul. New York, NY: Penguin.
Burghardt, G. (2005). The Genesis of Animal Play: Testing the Limits.
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery
and Invention. New York, NY: Harper Perennial.
Eisman, L. (2000). Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color. Sarasota, FL:
Graphix Press.
Eisner, W. (1985) Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practice of the
World's Most PopularArt Form. Paramus, NJ: Poorhouse Press.
Gurnell, J. (1987). The Natural History of the Squirrel. New York, NY: Facts on
File.
Hartung, P.J. (2002). Development through Work and Play. Journal of Vocational
Behavior, 61, 424-438.
Norman, D. (2004). Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things.
New York, NY: Basic Books.
Seuss, T. (1958). The Cat in the Hat Comes Back! New York, NY: Random
House.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Originally from small town Nebraska, Chandra DeBuse completed her Bachelor
of Arts degree in Psychology in 1995. She worked for ten years at a nonprofit shelter
for abused women and children before deciding to pursue a professional career in the
arts. She studied ceramics at Penland School of Crafts and the University of Nebraska
before beginning graduate studies at the University of Florida. Chandra currently lives
in Gainesville, Florida.




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