Ceramics & Glass (MA)

Chloe Monks

Born in London, Chloe spent her childhood moving around the globe before coming back to the UK to graduate from Cardiff School of Art and Design with a BA(Hons) in Ceramics. She subsequently worked in the ceramic industry in Stoke-on-Trent before self-funding a 4-month trip to India where she was an intern for Vineet Kacker and demonstrated at festivals across the country. Chloe works as a ceramic research artist; her practice heavily lies within glaze development and interrogation of sculptural forms. Her practice is informed by theoretical works that lie within Phenomenology, Surrealism and Formlessness. Chloe is open to discussion regarding the commission of certain works, visiting lecturer opportunities, exhibitions and potential residencies. For now, she continues her practice and studio-based research.  

EDUCATION
2013 - Falmouth University, Art & Design Foundation Diploma, Merit
2016 - Cardiff School of Art & Design, Ceramics BA(Hons), 1st Class
2018 - Royal College of Art, Ceramics & Glass MA  

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS
2021 - Future Lights, Ambiente, Frankfurt
2021 - Ryall Hill, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham
2020 - CICA, Museu A’lcora, Spain
2020 - Amber Room, Notting Hill, London 

EXHIBITIONS
2020 - RCA2020, Virtual Show
2020 - 24:4, Private Address, London
2019 - A Celebration of British Craftsmanship, Milton Gallery, London
2019 - Amber Room, Notting Hill, London
2019 - Across Borders, Sanbao Ceramic Arts Institute, Qiu Gallery, Jingdezhen
2019 - Amazon Fashion/Capgemini, Amazon, London
2019 - WIP, RCA, London
2018 - #34, CGP, London
2017 - Dust, Hanley Town Hall, Stoke-on-Trent
2016 - New Designers, BDC, London
2016 - From the Ground Up, Cardiff School of Art and Design, Cardiff
2015 - There’s Many a Slip Twixed Cup & Lip, Craft in the Bay, Cardiff 

AWARDS
2020 - Future Lights in Ceramics 2021
2019 - South Square Trust Scholar
2019 - QEST Company of Arts Scholar
2018 - Grocer’s Bursary Scholar
2016 - Integration of Theory and Practice in Ceramics Award
2015 - Integration of Theory and Practice in Ceramics Award
2013 - Exceptional Work Award, Falmouth 

RESIDENCIES
2019 - Across Borders, Sanbao Ceramic Arts Institute, Jingdezhen
2016 & 2018 Ryall Hill, Upton upon Severn, Worcester

TEACHING & WORKSHOPS
2020 - University of the Arts, Farnham University
2020 - St Pauls School, London
2019 - Winch Design, London
2019 - London Sculpture Workshop, London

PRICE LIST
For prices and commissions, please contact chloe.monks@network.rca.ac.uk  

Contact

chloe.monks@network.rca.ac.uk

My Website

My Instagram

My QEST Profile

Sponsors

Events

I am fascinated by the changing state of a substance. Time takes centre stage in my works: they appear to have a precariousness, the sense of not being fixed. In a moment, a work could collapse and possibly resolve itself into a pure form. My practice is heavily rooted in research, particularly into the core fluidity of glaze and flux. Often objects are realised into a series of pieces or are the continual development of a single piece. Through persistent innovation of techniques such as the testing of glazes, props, frameworks, and varying kiln atmospheres, my work embraces the opportunity of chance and effect. It allows me to continue developing a visual language in which ceramic materials are inverted in their function - glaze becomes integral to the structure, not merely a surface decoration.  

Although I speak of chance and effect, the foundations of the work are carefully calculated, through a systematic methodology of planning, preparation and documentation. That being said, my making process leaves room for improvisation - knowing how I want a piece to operate, but not completely knowing where it may end up.  

As a result, my practice actively blends physical form with responses to phenomenological thought. Phenomenology continues to be redefined, but we can understand it as an attempt to describe the basic structures of human experience. I have taken significant influence from the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, which suggests that information we’ve loaded onto ourselves brings an undercurrent of our being into reality. I have also ruminated over contemporary philosopher Ian Bogost’s belief that as humans we mainly think through things. A question that arises throughout his writing is: does the object have its own experience? Or is the object only activated by a human experience? My ceramic practice is a physical manifestation and investigation into my own relationship with the purity of experience. A question reflected in my work is whether there are any experiences that are free from pre-assumptions.  

Fluidity — Stoneware, Glaze, 10 x 40 x 15 cm Photo Credit, Ji-Hyun Song, Contact for further details.

Fluidity — Stoneware, Glaze, 10 x 40 x 15 cm Photo Credit, Ji-Hyun Song, Contact for further details.

Tall Drop — Stoneware, Glaze, 15 x 14 x 6 cm, Contact for further details.

Drop Series — Stoneware, Glaze, 10 x 22 x 6 cm, Contact for further details.

Cobalt Ripple — Porcelain, Glaze, 15 x 20 x 7 cm, Contact for further details.

D FLUX — Porcelain, Glaze, 13 x 10 x 8 cm, Contact for further details.

Here, the clay acts as an armature - it is no longer the ground for the glaze as surface, but instead a support for glaze as form. The alchemical and viscous properties of glazes are exploited to their maximum potential; sticking to objects, sticking objects together and flowing loosely through open space. The firing process and clay frame has allowed these meticulously calculated concoctions to reach a flow state, forming a focus upon permanent fluidity. The frame contains and delimits something that would otherwise fluctuate in a state of free transformation.

‘What mode of being is symbolised by the slimy? I see first that it is the homogeneity and the imitation of liquidity. A slimy substance like pitch is an aberrant fluid. At first, with the appearance of a fluid it manifests to us a being which is everywhere fleeing and yet everywhere similar to itself…’ - Sartre, J-P. (1943) Being and Nothingness. London: Routledge. p.627

Medium:

Stoneware Ceramic, Glaze
Flow
Fluidity
Flux
Fragmentation
Frame
Installation
Process
Sculputre
Slime
Substance
Time
Viscous

Gum Joints I — Porcelain, Glaze, Digital Extension

Gum Joints II — Porcelain, Glaze, Digital Extension

Fluidity on the outside, fluidity within a body and fluidity creating joints - this combination creates an interlocking web of complexity. Works are growing as glaze creates the joints between separate objects; holding the whole piece together. Precarious joints allow a visual gap to see fluid without a surface beneath it. Simple shapes are used to emphasise this function that is at play.

The questions continue: how many fragments can be separate from each other until they become one? Or when a form is so fragmented, at what point is the form lost? These following fragmentary structures bring phenomenology into a perspective of the human state as well as object orientated ontology. ‘Slime is the bridging material – oozing itself forth – the connection, the join, the glue, the paste, the solidification of unison.’ - Sartre, J-P. (1943) p.620

Medium:

Porcelain, Glaze

Epoch of Simultaneity IV — Porcelain, Gas Glaze, Digital Render

Epoch of Simultaniety V — Porcelain, Gas Glaze, Digital Render

Epoch of Simultaneity — Porcelain, Gas Glaze, 45 x 28 x 24 cm

Epoch of Simultaneity — Porcelain, Gas Glaze, 45 x 28 x 24 cm

‘Epoch of Simultaneity’ began the body of work I was going to work towards in the physical degree show. The colours are explorations of what can be achieved through reduction firings. I find the power of precariousness makes us see how easily something can fall apart but also how one of the many might just hold itself up and keep itself together. Referring to the precariousness of the human state alongside the question of, what is this thing experiencing?

Medium:

Porcelain, Gas Glaze

Epsom — Edition of 5, Print on Aluminium, 75 x 50 cm Contact for further details.

Copper Sulphate — Edition of 5, Print on Aluminium, 75 x 50 cm Contact for further details.

Porcelain Sulphate — Edition of 5, Print on Aluminium, 75 x 50 cm Contact for further details.

The lack of access to a ceramic workshop has led me to investigate other methods of producing objects that balance the fine line between unity and disorder. During lockdown I experimented with different alchemical substances which has turned into the documentation of time-based crystal transformations. As with my glaze research, documentation photography introduces a new vision of the work; the changing of scale from micro to macro allows for the discovery of information unseen to the human eye.

This methodology rapidly became appropriate for the capturing of ephemeral moments within the growth of crystals. These dry substances deliquesce, overtime solutions had a constant change of mobilisation crystallising and growing from the inside, out of objects, wrapping itself around things such as terracotta and porcelain. From the photographs seen on this website it is clear to see how the crystal structures mimic similar actions of the larger chaotic ceramic forms.

Medium:

Epsom Salts, Copper Sulphate Crystal, Porcelain, Resin

Computational Copper — Digital Model

At the point of the UK going into lockdown, and the RCA closing its doors to students, I had just began working out how I could apply my newly developed range of gas glazes onto my assembled structures. I envisaged them as being a series of free-standing objects and several wall pieces.

Not wanting to lose this forward momentum, I decided to digitally capture the colours and textures of the new gas glazes and began experimenting with the visualisation and creation of these works in a digital format. Using the digitally captured glazes wrapped around a 3D form, I was able to visualise what this work may have been like, if the opportunity to continue producing it had been available, and also something to work towards in the future as normality slowly returns.

Medium:

Digital Model
Created with the guidance and assistance of Peter Musson, Jewellery & Metal technician at the Royal College of Art.
Portfolio of practice showcases a 'body of work' achieved over a disrupted period, due to Covid-19, on the Ceramics & Glass course at the Royal College of Art.

Medium:

Portfolio

Coming Alive

'Coming Alive' is the dissertation written during my first year at the Royal College of Art. I have focused upon phenomenology and what true experience is, if we can experience something pure without any assumptions or predictability of what may happen due to an action. This dissertation is a piece of written research into this topic.

An extract from ‘Environment & Ontology’ Chapter;

'We have a supposed idea of an experience, of our perception, our thoughts of sensing, not questioned upon consciousness but unquestioned belief in the world. We use evidence, our world and our memories, to perceive and define an experience which results in assumptions, whether we believe these assumptions or not, if we believe these assumptions its likely to have no experience at all, as we keep the memory of your last feeling of that experience in mind, not allowing new sensations to occur. We think we know what it is to see, to hear, to sense, yet perception has given us visual objects that we remember.' Page 11

Medium:

Writing

Grocers Hall Bursary

The Grocers Bursary supported a fraction of my course fees during my first year at the Royal College of Art.

Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust

QEST financially supported me during my last year at the Royal College of Art, alongside improving my professional practice through external workshops and exhibitions.

South Square Trust

South Square Trust financially supported maintenance costs of living in London and the cost of materials needed to produce work on the Ceramics & Glass course.
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