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I recently spent a week in Labspace thinking with my Albion clay.

I have started to make palm sized pinch pots from the dark grey, earthy material. The pinch pot is the most basic form of vessel.

“Prime objects…the prototypes of the series of artifacts called plates, bowls, jars and the rest…obey a slow almost geological rhythm.

All such objects are tied to actions repeated by every user in the same way, across generational time; they present the life of everyman as far more a matter of repetition than of personal originality or invention.

Such objects belong to the aevum time which has a beginning but no end.” [1]

[1] Norman Bryson, Looking at the Overlooked: Four Essays on Still Life Painting, (London: Reaktion Books Ltd, 1990), 144

I am making as many pots as the load of clay allows and then I shall re-process the clay.

Referencing Ellen Dissanayake’s understanding of ritualisation as a an ordinary movement made conspicuous. the conspicuous “formalized (simplified or stereotyped),repeated, exaggerated, elaborated, and used in a new context to communicate a different, non-ordinary message.” , my work continues, fumbling around making things repetitively in order to find meaning, communicate this and continuing in cycle.

 

I may bury the pots like a hoard, returning them to the ground as a ritual within the cyclical ritual. Though the hoard will not be disinterred in the future by anyone, as the unfired clay will assimilate to the ground around it. and in doing so returns to its geological time and destiny, having spent only the blink of an eye in the form I gave it. 

There is an assumption that burial is affording reverence, when my work is exploring the detachment from objects, surely I should just ball the clay back up, not allowing the clay to harden and spend time in the form that I give it. that the bowls should return to the water and be re-processed. this is a possibility…

But the form is a gift from me, in this way I did not collect the object, I created it. The object is not other, it is me.

The burial is equally to lay something to rest, at peace, to ensure it doesn’t come back to cause injury or death. in this way the burial is essential to social cohesion.

Initially I gave myself only one week to complete the pots. After one day I understood the error of this. The pots would take as long as they wanted. I was working on the clay’s time now.

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