top of page
  • Writer's pictureJohn Michael Bennett

PhD and research seminar

2 .

One of my earlies memories, was as a child was sitting in the back seat of my father first car, with my hand out the window jet streaming with the atmosphere.

There was a sensual resistance that responded to every action of my hand, a haptic dance, a romance in atunement.

3. Poeamics:

Is a quest for: “The Spell of the sensuous”, 1

a mapping of materiality with an amalgamation of poetry and ceramics.

I am researching values in dialogue, that accrue, within the intersection: of the potter, material and time.

By constructing structural hybrids, that play with the plasticity of vessel and verse, that reach out, as installations, fusing space, agency and audience.


In 2017 when I was introduced to Clay, I was required to produce a book for the master's art and design module. The Equanimity of Peace, 2evolved into 5000 words poem, that recording my assimilation into ceramics. This was an unconscious fusing of the premise of my practice.

My relationship with poetry and clay became the questions of my practice based research, for my Ceramic Masters.

Questions of:

What is this new relationship with material?

Can I communicate directly through clay?

Can I make a clay poem?

How do I understand it, interoperate it, recycle it back into research?

Poetry became a relational record, of my tacit exploration.

Clay and words share qualities of nourishment and knowledge.

I was a child again intuitive, impatient, starting with the alphabet,

I was developing my own haptic vocabulary, of sitting with the clay on the potter wheel.


Within consideration, to the vastness of both poetry and ceramics,

I framed my research with metaphor and haptic, as the prime drivers to a developmental practice. Poetry and ceramics share a position of the anthropology vessels, a recorded of human immersive creativity.

In this research, I explore, through ceramic hybrid, how my work could bring new meaning to both disciplines and contribute as a practice inquiry.

Poeamics, “has the capacity for generating meanings through a myriad of lenses, presenting an opportunity to capture expressions, interaction and surprises as a physical representation. through materials and making”. 3


Alexandra Engelfriet.

Described as a ‘true mud person’4

Alexandra works with mammoth bodies of clay, using

her body as a tool with which to form and sculpt

“The essence of my work still is movement, moving matter, structures and rich textures emerging out of the process of kneading and moulding clay”.5

“In a world that becomes more and more virtual, to be able to feel and experience the touch and sensuality of the body through the art of clay, is what I aim for.”6

In Tranché,Engelfrietinhabits the poppy fields of the Somme through her body and spirit, embracing enactive metaphor (full body metaphor) with gestural expression, in a feedback loops of haptic referral.


“Metaphor makes a comparison between two things that are basically dissimilar, it describes one thing in terms of another” 7, time is a thief, heart of gold, the homeless mug, the toughest metaphors are indirect and implied”.

“Currently the cognitive sciences agree that metaphor serves as the often unknowing foundation for human thought” (Gibbs 2008; Soto- Andrade 2014) 8

“Lakoff and Johnson 1980, claim we live by metaphor in the sense that it is the mechanism which allows our thinking and perceiving to be informed by our physical and social experience, 9

Max Black “premise that metaphor actually creates insight or new meaning” (Black 1979)10

I hold sway with Ricoeur, explanation of metaphor as ‘living”

To put it simply: “We are in metaphor or we are metaphor”,

The metaphors that I visit in my practice are: wheel of Dhama Vessel as a universal container. Voices of agency. Persona Glaze, elemental fire, deep surface, active narrative. Intersection as generators.


It was a year of testing and researching before I was able to position metaphor and haptic as a research practice. I created a triplet of metaphor, movement and material as a grid of analysis, and supporting structure.

(Poeamics 1), in the supporting framework I explored clay as a development of articulation and skill. Testing the metaphor of container. this collection of vessels, were thrown and assembled quickly, using different types of porcelain and algamates of local river silt.

The assemblage was architectural and metaphorical in rhetoric, of bowl within bowl within bowl, ascending and descending with the agency of making and firing.


Conner Wilson ask; “Can writing_making methods generate new approaches to writing (about) making and materials”

MacLeod & Holdridge ‘We need to bring our writing nearer to our making., Thinking Through Art, p.12

Wilson states: artistic research seems to be an ideal tool with which to stretch the boundaries of craft practice.

In ‘one bag installation’ Wilson projects words and images like shadows, of his process/his materiality on to the a delicately supported foreground of porcelain mugs and visual-centric background, becomes a metaphor to the window into the fragility and forgotten memory of the makers process.


With the Jingdezhen residency I could explore voices and rhetoric in international ceramics. In the absent of a communitive language and cultural ques, I pivoted my cultural immersive experience with ceramics through materiality.

Every stimulus was initiated through clay. Immersed in a crucible of white gold, in a city that once manufactured mass culture as global obsession. I absorbed 900 year of industrial craft while being supported by an international team of ceramic visionaries.

I immersed into the conversation of international ceramics and recognised how that discourse recycled life back into the bones of industrious Jingdezhen.

In looking to clay as one earliest truly neuro-compatible substance and porcelain to be the premier of clay, I improved my atunement to porcelain. Neuro relates to a system of electro human interactional entanglement.

I returned to Cardiff Metropolitan with the spirit and enterprise of global trade and a appreciation to the migrational value of the exchange objects.


Clare Twomey is actively involved in critical research in the area of the applied arts, including writing, curating and making.

Twomey Installation is a good example of metaphorical conversation of framing and juxtaposioning.

Manifest, 10,000 Hours, this work examines cultures of making and skill with the historical learning of skills and apprentices.

Order and structure become a metaphor to time and the acquirement in the development of craft skilling. The installation reference the craft and technology of the building, the space against the framing of Manifest


(P3) An exploration in the hybrid of transposing practice across frames in media. My poem ‘Poeamics’ was selected for Cardiff Metropolitan Anthology.

Poeamics, found a voice outside the studio, I volunteered to Craft Council Poetry and Clayevent. As a group of 20 participants, we explored the equivalences between cay and poetry. The process of reading, group reflection and performance in clay interpretations, of three types of poems: a haiku, a couplet and a broken sonnet created sensual hooks where share memories of knowledge could reside. With this focused group I tested Poeamics adaptability to graft onto performance and education. In a unscripted collaboration between Elin Hughs and myself, we performed a Poeamics piece. In taking polar positions, Elin was life/love and I was loss/ regret.

True to the broken sonnet, I would build castles of regret to wallow in and life/love would come along and tumble, crash those walls, and evidentiality bleach away the chaos of grief. With direct feedback. This was successful application of my research.,. Poeamics showed adaptability and fluidity in transference of knowledge and conversation engagement. This was research in underpinning communicational values.


Presently, my final masters work P9 is an entanglement on the meditation of communication. After two year of research, I feel confident to articulate my current perspectives in my practice. I am creating an installation of three vessels and simultaneously recording the making process in poetry from twin positional voices of metaphor and haptic. This work is an expression of the craft of the modern family.



The development practice is a direct referral in clay, as a mediacy of material and my reflective emotional ecology. Sitting with the throwing wheel becomes a meditate focus, a liminal space giving access to mindful flow, to where an equability between maker, time and material can be insightful in the reflection of the collision of metaphor and haptic.

Thus far, my research has better defined a method for study – an exploration of Poeamics’ than a research question, but if I was to attempt to articulate a question it would be:  Can the development of a hybrid material language and enactive metaphor enable more insightful understanding of the genesis of craft.


´2. Bennett, John M. 2017, Blurb Self publishing.

´3. Damrosch, Leopold et al., Adventures in English Literature (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1985), p. 990


´8. Díaz-Rojas,Daniela , Soto-Andrade, Jorge, 2015 Enactive metaphoric approaches to randomness. CERME 9 - Ninth Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Education; ERME, Feb 2015, Prague, Czech Republic. pp.629-635. hal- 01287051

´9.Lakoff, George and Johnsen Mark (2003) Metaphors we live by. London: The university of Chicago press

´10. Black, Max 1955, meeting at the Aristotelian society,

´11.Ricoeu,r, Paul 1991Metaphor, Poiesis and Hermeneutical Ontology: Paul Ricoeur and the Turn to Language

12 Wilson, Conor J R, Febr

uary 2016, phd, Writing_Making: Object as body, language and material

´Clare towney


36 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page