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Jenny Saunt

MA work

Title of dissertation: English Decorative Plasterwork 1745 to 1765: Craft Practice and Processes of Design


This study investigates the design and production of English decorative plasterwork in the middle years of the eighteenth century. Though this medium has been little researched, unique insights into craft practices and the process of design emerge through an in-depth and practice-informed investigation of the properties, and performance capabilities of the materials and techniques used to create the work. The dissertation includes several eighteenth-century case studies that examine the broad context and mechanics of the realisation process. These reveal a network of collaborations which produced the designed plaster scheme. Further exploration shows how the printed image; eighteenth-century perceptions of form; the relationship between line, movement, form, and the sensory experience interacted to invest the plasterwork with impetus enabled by the medium’s capacity to capture and preserve speed and movement.


By closely linking the contemporary intellectual, visual and aesthetic concerns with practical knowledge of the material and techniques, the remaining decorative plasterwork of the period can be theorised as momentary enactments of internalised sensory landscapes, expressed through an exchange between material and hand as they negotiated form. Finally, it is argued that these interactions provided the eighteenth-century plaster-worker with conceptual 3D design capacities, which became a notional portfolio of form — a tacit abstract repertoire.


Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA History of Design, 2011

  • Title of dissertation: English Decorative Plasterwork 1745 to 1765: Craft Practice and Processes of Design


    This study investigates the design and production of English decorative plasterwork in the middle years of the eighteenth century. Though this medium has been little researched, unique insights into craft practices and the process of design emerge through an in-depth and practice-informed investigation of the properties, and performance capabilities of the materials and techniques used to create the work. The dissertation includes several eighteenth-century case studies that examine the broad context and mechanics of the realisation process. These reveal a network of collaborations which produced the designed plaster scheme. Further exploration shows how the printed image; eighteenth-century perceptions of form; the relationship between line, movement, form, and the sensory experience interacted to invest the plasterwork with impetus enabled by the medium’s capacity to capture and preserve speed and movement.


    By closely linking the contemporary intellectual, visual and aesthetic concerns with practical knowledge of the material and techniques, the remaining decorative plasterwork of the period can be theorised as momentary enactments of internalised sensory landscapes, expressed through an exchange between material and hand as they negotiated form. Finally, it is argued that these interactions provided the eighteenth-century plaster-worker with conceptual 3D design capacities, which became a notional portfolio of form — a tacit abstract repertoire.


  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons), Theatre Design, Nottingham Trent University, 1999
  • Experience

  • Freelance theatrical set and costume designer, 1999-2011; Freelance stucco modeller, 2005-11
  • Awards

  • Winner, Craft, Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust Award, 2009