Field – The City – Marble ideas

After looking through some images of ceramic marbles, it seems as if there are a few different options in terms of glaze, matt, glossy or unfired. From what I can understand, there are different classifications of marble relating to it’s glaze and colour. “Bennington” marbles are generally brown or blue mottled glossy marbles, which are named after Bennington pottery, and are also distinguished by 3 “eyes” on the surface which is formed when they are touching another surface while being fired. China marbles are distinguished by their white colour and are usually unglazed, unfired porcelain with delicate patterns on their surface.  As far as I can tell, other types of ceramic marble are known simply as “crockery” marbles.

Bennington marbles:

50338t  bennington_potters_agate_blue_mug_P0000004825S0033T2beChina marbles:

China2k chinas

Some examples of matt glazed marbles:

www.dighungate.com-images-resize-5000-430

These have a nice rocky quality to them, but don’t look particularly inviting to play with

These pastel colours are very pleasing and they look like they have a soft texture

These pastel colours are very pleasing and they look like they have a soft texture

I really like these patterns, but I don't have time to paint patterns onto all of my marbles

I really like these patterns, but I don’t have time to paint patterns onto all of my marbles

Shiny glazed marbles:

This was the first picture of marbles that really jumped out at me, I think many of my ideas are based on this image

This was the first picture of marbles that really jumped out at me, I think many of my ideas are based on this image

shiny and colourful

shiny and colourful

shiny but mottled earthy colours

Bennington marbles, shiny but mottled earthy colours, 3 “eyes” on the surface

I think I definitely prefer the shiny glaze over the matt, as it is more reflective, has a smooth quality and is more recognisable as a marble (considering we generally associate marbles with glass). I think the bright colours work well too as they are playful and inviting, so a series of brightly coloured shiny glazed marbles would be ideal.

sketches of how I envision my marbles being placed in the city

sketches of how I envision my marbles being placed in the city

different coloured marbles, with stand

different coloured marbles, with stand

In terms of colour, I have been looking at other colourful childhood objects such as Lego, Smarties, Skittles and other such things, and noticed there is a strong use of primary colour. While they don’t all necessarily stick to Red, Blue, Yellow, and then the secondary colours of Orange, Green and Purple, and often have different shades of the same colour, or sometimes browns or greys, I think it makes more sense for me to stick to these basic colours. Colour theory is a very wide subject and I could potentially spend months trying to devise the perfect colour range to make marbles most appealing to passers by, I think a mix of primary and secondary colours works well enough to get the point across that they are brightly coloured and “fun”. I plan to make white the most common colour, with the primary colours then being less common, and the secondary being uncommon. This gives them a “collectable” theme, and I hope that if people do steal some of them, they might perhaps want to take one of each, or at least have a choice of colours to choose from. I would also like to make one marble which is glazed in gold lustre (“ULTRA RARE”), and it would be interesting to see whether that gets taken very quickly. I think I would certainly choose a gold lustre marble over any other, especially as I could see that it was the only one among a mix of other standard colours.

I would like to make a wooden stand for the marbles to sit in too, purely for my own display purposes to demonstrate one of each colour. This would be nice presentation wise when my work is being graded, and then can also be put on my shelf at home afterwards. I think making something that looks nice on a shelf is important.

While the people who interact with these on the street will not have a nice stand to put them in, they might still find ways of displaying them at home, or even simply put them in a draw. The great thing about marbles is, that you don’t ever throw them away. They get put into a draw, and sit there for the next 10 years undiscovered, and I quite like that idea that my work is just sat lurking in the back of somebody’s drawer unnoticed. Perhaps they’ll pull it out at some point and think “ah! that was the day I walked into town and there were a thousand marbles all over the floor! that was a strange day”, and have an element of fondness for them. Or perhaps they’ll get given to somebody’s nephew who is collecting marbles. I’ll have no idea what happens to them once they get taken, and that is an exciting thought.

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