The Language of the Birds: A Ceramic Exploration of Alchemical Transmutation

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mary Katherine Donovan, Student (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site:
Megan Wolfe

Abstract: How can the medieval ideas and concepts of alchemy be translated into a body of contemporary ceramic work? The term alchemical transmutation can be used to describe an action on the physical level (the purification and transformation of metals) as well as an action on the metaphysical level (the purification of the spirit and thetransformation of mankind). The realm of alchemy is one of corresponding duality, from its very definition to the related symbol structures and allegories. Various initiatory aspects of the artist’s own life provided inspiration forfulfilling the metaphysical aspect of transmutation, while the medium of ceramics, which undergoes a transformation from common earth into lasting work, mimics the act of physical transformation. Alchemical allegories are explored through obsessive and repetitive acts of creation in ceramics, leading to the development of personal symbols and a deeper understanding of self.

Additional Information

UNC Asheville - Journal of Undergraduate Research
Language: English
Date: 2013
ceramics, alchemical transmutation

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