I have used seaweed in my work for some time, laying it directly onto the surface of pots during firing. For years I have been meaning to test its use as a glaze component. Wood ash is commonly used in glazes as is other organic matter, I have only ever seen one reference to seaweed ash. It took a sack full of seaweed to make a handful of ash, enough for a few tests.
It is so rewarding using raw materials from my surroundings. I am often struck by the subtlety of the materials and how they exude there location. These tests with seaweed ash definitely have a sense of the atlantic about them. Every raw material that I collect has a unique quality, a strength of character that prevails through the extreme metamorphic processes of the firing.
I left a Votive Jar among the kelps and Worts, which have been such a rich and important resource for thousands of years.
Just over six weeks to make a kiln full of work for this years kiln opening, the main event at my annual Open Studio.
I have been reading through some of my old Archaeological literature from my time at university and have come across some interesting concepts. One area that particularly caught my interest is the burial or deposit of objects within the landscape by the people of the Neolithic. Human bones, animal bones, tools and even pottery were deliberately placed in locations that had significance to those people at that point in prehistory. Many of the locations appear to be determined by landscape features almost an exploration of their relationship to nature and the land. These structured deposits are partly about the objects but also about a place. Most “votive deposits” are in well used locations, tombs or settlements, some however are in wild places.
Part of my work is about an exploration of our relationship to nature and the land. I have therefore made a series of tiny Jars about 15mm high to deposit in the landscape at places that I draw on for my work. I have been out a lot recently collecting new materials and exploring the local landscape as part of my research. I have left a few Votive Jars.