Investment in external materials is an extension of human being, of learning what we are, what we do, what things do, and how it all relates, our surroundings,others and us. My work with objects is doing this. Art does this- using external materials to communicate thinking and asks those around to engage with it and take that engagement onwards as part of them when encountering the materials again.
the extension of external materials as a means of communication is a natural extension of the way we use those materials to learn about everything.
The stick – picked up by a child and prodded into the ground , scraped into the earth, thrown into the tree, thrown into the water, spun around, dragged behind, behaviour mirroring that of the chimpanzee engaging with external materials and playing, working out what its uses can be for the present entertainment and for future work of tools, of how the body can manipulate the object.
If we learn through engagement with materials, and I am working with unfired clay then it felt logical that the clay should not come from an online supplier in a tidy package but was like the stick, chosen, found, manipulated to fit the purpose.
Being local to Lincoln I am aware that we have a history of brickworks across the city and that most garden soils here possess clay. Researching old city maps highlighted the areas of old brickworks and further research led me to find that an area close to where I now live is the site of one of these clay pits and brick works. After an initial visit to find the area, finding evidence of clay and returning with a bucket, spade and able assistant we dig some clay!
The clay is visible everywhere as dried platelets forming a bank which appears to of been dug out to create a ring shaped pool. We find a spot which is moist and yields almost workable clay. It moulds well and only just cracks when rolled and bent.
We dig into the wetter spot and reveal pretty good clay deposit straight away which has been dug out of the trench visible in the area. A spade depth down and organic matter is visible.
fill a bucket!
The clay needs to be washed and sieved to remove organic matter such as stones.