Distortion to Abstraction

Term: 4 Year: 2019


Mounted A3

Year 6 students at Haileybury, Brighton began with a research task, researching ceramic masks particularly gargoyle style masks. Students completed the design process, a human face and using distortion, addition and subtraction to create a more abstracted form. To make the masks, students used a slab of earthenware clay and a Zart human face mould. Then pressed and cut the slab to create a human face. Following their design process, they then distorted and abstracted the human face, adding features and subtracting clay to create an abstracted form. Masks were dried, and bisque fired. Students then returned to their designs to decide on the finish they would use for their masks. Some selected an aged bronze finish, or a rust finish, others an underglaze finish or an underglaze and clear glaze. Finally, students mounted their masks on boxboard covered with cover paper and used a Zart double sided mount to frame.


Abstraction (from the Latin abs, meaning away from and trahere, meaning to draw) is the process of taking away or removing characteristics from something in order to reduce it to a set of essential characteristics. In object-oriented programming, abstraction is one of three central principles (along with encapsulation and inheritance).
Year 6
Haileybury, Brighton