Entered Information
Student Name: Jess Smart
Grade: 12
Title: An Exploration of Self and Society
Description: I began this project with the sole intent of testing my abilities at building coil pots, and ended up turning it into a representation of my view of myself, and the society around me. I chose to do a hexagon, because I wanted to use the opposing sides as a further description of each other. I really loved the idea of playing two different images off of each other in order to develop my ideas a bit more. I also really love the honesty and raw beauty that can often be found in graffiti, and I thought the best palette for that would be very industrial in nature. With this in mind, I used a burnished steel glaze for the outside and bottom, and I carved and painted bricks onto the interior walls. I started with the self-portrait wall, painting the outline of my face and my blue hair as general descriptors, adding the keyhole as a symbol for my closed-off nature, and surrounded that with words that have been used to insult or hurt me. I layered them in order to maintain some amount of privacy, and I painted them in a way that resembles classical graffiti tags. I then started working on the opposing side, featuring the shadow monster. I used this not only as a symbol for my anxiety disorder, but also as a metaphor for the power and intimidation that the government is able hold over society as a whole, using smoke (present around the bottom edge of the walls) and mirrors to lead people into doing their bidding. I then began to work on my Octopus. I have always felt like the government is a many handed creature used to control, intimidate, and keep a hold of society, and with this in mind I chose to do an Octopus because of its many tentacles and powerful suckers. Consequently, I chose the Blue Ring Octopus because it is bright in color, which lends itself to general graffiti style, and because it's also poisonous enough to kill humans. I then painted the earth, being held for sale, with throngs of people in line to buy it. This is my idea of our strictly capitalist society, where nearly everything is for sale, and everyone wants to have the most prestigious possessions. I placed it across from the Octopus to show the watchful eye and control that the government has over our society. I then added my nickname "Smurf" in red, white, and blue to show my American heritage. Lastly, I added the line "False interest in a disillusioned society" to show how many politicians promise to help their citizens, but use their support in order to win elections and further their own personal/political agendas. I placed the words "false" and " interests" with the octopus, to show that it's the government pretending to care. I placed "disillusioned" across from "Smurf" to show my personal state of mind regarding the American government, and I placed "society" near the monster's mouth and hands to show the intimidation and power that the government holds over society.
Dimensions: (L)15 x (W)15 x (H)6 (Inches)
Weight: 7.25 Lbs.
School: Linn-Mar High School - Marion, IA
Teacher: Angie White
Exhibition: The 18th Annual National K12 Ceramic Exhibiition

No awards given
Additional Work Info
Clay Vendor: Other
Tool Vendor: Other
Glaze Vendor: Other
Kiln Vendor: Skutt
Firing Temp: Low Fire
Cone Number:
Entry Photos