Monday, February 22, 2010

Sue Mitchell's 48 Hours

My intention is to make vessels from the patch of earth most dear to me. So I dig up clay from the wall of the dam, which doesn’t have much water in it these days after so many years of little rain. A simple process removes the stones and bits of sticks and old leaves, leaving the clay creamy, a delight to sink my hands into.
No wheel or tools but formed by hand. No gas kiln, instead an old drum and an old header tank, and a collection of cow dung from our neighbors paddock to use as fuel.

I envisaged large shallow bowls, formed by laying slabs to dry on the surface of large basalt rocks, hot after baking in the days sun. And some smaller ones too, to fit inside.

However, the one thing this patch of earth teaches me again and again is that it is not always possible to design or impose process or outcome. All of the large pieces, shaped beautifully by the rocks, cracked in the firing. The challenge then becomes to make something of what you’ve got, of what’s been offered….which in the end, is always enough.

Sue Mitchell 48 Hour Dish Set 2010

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