The goal of the Cipher Variation Experiment is to provide a visual aid though documentation of the variations that one idea undergoes as it evolves through creative process. In this case the idea that I began with was a cipher, or a key. I chose a cipher because it was something that I had never built before. I like the fact that keys usually belong to a lock; it is not often that a key is made with nothing to unlock. I created a imaginary keys to an imaginary places out of clay.
I found that no two ciphers look the same while the ciphers could be classified in sets. I noticed that as one type of cypher began to get stale in my mind, I suddenly approach the idea with a different angle and the forms morph with new stylistic approaches. Gradually the fact the my ciphers were keys became more and more cryptic.
I do not claim that any of these keys are masterpieces in themselves, but the documentations of the change in the way that I approach an idea is proving to be helpful in understanding my own creative process. I hope the Cipher Variation Experiment may help others in some way.
All of my ciphers were fired in my two mini-gama woodfire kilns. Many of the ciphers underwent post firing embellishments.