Designer/Maker statement 1, Janet DeBoos

As I find it difficult to define the term ‘designer/maker’, the very core of our new degree (Design Arts) offer at the ANU, School of Art, I like to bring to this blog some of the short statements by my colleagues. These are taken from the de/sign/ed catalogue.

Approaching this term from different – in this case – individual points of view, will help forming a more complete definition. The first one of these statements is by Jannet DeBoos, head of ceramics.

My practice has always been centred on domestic ceramics, the processes by which it comes into being and the performative aspects of use by which it gets ‘remade’. I have since the mid 1980’s regularly exhibited work that presents these usually private acts publicly.

I have worked with other media (sound and video/film) to examine the nature of production, and with other materials (polystyrene and disposable plastics) to examine the way we use things. Since 1996 I have been involved in the examination of what is ‘lost’ (if anything) when domestic ceramics items are no longer handmade. (What if the importance of ‘handling’ is not in the making, but only in the use?).

In exploring these questions, I have become the ‘designer’ rather than the ‘maker’ in a collaboration with the Huaguang Company’s Bone China division (Zibo, PRC). This project is very ‘hands-on’ and I work closely with both the mould makers and factory workers as the pieces are produced, and adjusted. I have been particularly interested in the way that the change in material (porcelain to bone china) affects changes in the product, and how ‘design’ has created a resonance between the handmade and the factory ware.
Janet DeBoos sketch


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