Functionless Structures

Nathanael Chrzan


My project seeks to expand upon the forms common to clay vessels into new structures that tower their ancestors and reject functionalism. My medium was a buff three stoneware clay. I used traditional potters wheel techniques to create these hollow structures. To achieve the final height of my structures, I had to throw individual building blocks of its final form and then stack them on top of each other. My stacking process influenced the final forms I created and I had to consider the clay’s plasticity. This can happen because certain angles are unable to hold their shape when weight is applied on them. In addition, the size of the kiln required me to cut my final forms in half in order to fire them, and then I would stack them after the firing process. This allows my structures to look complete after the glazing process. As I continue to grow as a ceramicist, I ask myself how far can I push these forms given the clay’s limitations as well as what glazes compliment certain forms.

Senior Thesis Art Exhibit 2021