International Journal of Art & Design Education

Forms of Life and the Life of Forms: Clay Figurines in Women's Art

Volume 18.2   1999



This paper documents and records visually clay figurines of some Portuguese women artisans, determines how the ceramic tradition is passed on in the community, and reveals the artisans' views of its meaning, significance, and aesthetic worth. From a feminist perspective, the research will inquire into the aesthetic and other concerns of the women artisans and ascertain their audiences and their reasons for valuing or not valuing the work. Male and female responses to the products of a traditionally female ceramic occupation will be compared. There is a need to document processes of informal and continuous training made available for those who might wish to participate in the future, and to determine the extent to which this heritage is dependent on gender divisions in Portuguese society undergoing a process of change.