Research and Methodologies

Research methodologies / Horror / Elation/ Realisation and a Dance

It’s a bizarre feeling that the term ‘research methodology’ sends absolute horror through my body. However, at the same time whilst researching the very idea of what is research, it’s actually brought me to tears, not as you would expect due to the utter overwhelming nature of that actual title. But in my research I feel so very lucky to be reading the texts, articles and watching videos of different, amazing people’s perception of research. Not many people in life are as lucky as I am to find something that they are so very passionate about, I live, dream and think of nothing but ceramics.

Yes, I freely admit I am a glaze geek. I am not cool, or hip. To be fair I am not even sure cool or hip are “on-trend”.  My students at school don’t seem to think so. As a mum of 3 kids under 6, a secondary school teacher, and a practicing Artist, I wear so many hats in the day and juggle crazy amounts of to-do lists. Added to that I live in Dubai, the city that doesn’t sleep, where my youngest is in nursery at 7am and my older kids are at school before 7.30am.   After a days teaching I embark on the crazy school/nursery pick ups in crazy traffic, with crazy drivers on a crazy 6 lane high way! Oh yes, Joyess craziness! Add in the extra curricular activities, home learning, spelling and reading, when I do get home I literally throw some ‘delicious’ (haha – I laugh at my myself) home cooked food at my family.

By the end of each day I am so tired and overwhelmed that I not only cry at that, I then cry at how lucky I am to actually get the opportunity to research the things I love – Ceramics! I am no different to almost everyone living in Dubai or in fact anywhere in the world, apart from the fact I am a glaze geek who is actually so obsessed with Ceramics it’s scary. I am not sure if I hope that one day my kids will find such a passion, I am not content, I will never be content. I love traveling and moving countries. I have itchy feet and a desire to live life to the full. Maybe, just maybe, this master’s course will ground me… who knows but the journey has begun.

‘Ms Robbins’, my secondary school Art teacher at the age of 16 said to me “make it bigger, if it doesn’t fit in the kiln we can chop it into bits, just make it bigger”. From this, my whole life has been mapped out.

It makes my head spin and I feel there are just simply not enough hours in the day, month, year or even lifetime to read all of the amazing things out there. At this present moment I have a huge sense of overwhelming, mind-boggling, brain over load that makes me simply want to scream from both the terror and the excitement of what lies ahead of me. Excited is an understatement, for those that know me I am a very excitable person but for this journey I have no words just a few jumps and a little dance. “Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you grab your wife around the waist and dance a jig.” (Gladwell, 2008)

This is an extract from one of the recommended blogs from the MA Ceramics course is from ‘Idun Sira’;“I have always found glazes quite tedious. You spend ages measuring and mixing, then after a test you realize it’s nothing like you thought it would be… and if it is, you will never be able to mix it that way again. Well, I presume it’s not like this for everyone, but that is my experience.”

 This made me laugh and want to shout at the same time. As a self confessed glaze geek I find this very funny and very true. I dream glaze recipes and as much as I really wanted my journey to venture away from my Glaze…

this glaze….


The Glaze I have been working on for 16 years, the Glaze that drives me crazy and makes me so very happy at the same time. Every bone in my body, every tiny bit of common sense is telling me to walk away from this glaze, to not involve it in my future. But it follows me everywhere; I can’t get away from me. Argh!!!!!!! Glaze will you stay or will you go… Thank you, ‘The Clash’.

I think this particularly sums up the start of my journey, “Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.” (Lori, 2011). I just have to find out were “there” is?

Reference list


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