The bus-person's weekend

I had the chance this weekend to stretch my horizons a bit both geographically and metaphorically, experiencing two different ways of site-based working with clay.

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As part of the Thames festival there was a firing on the foreshore, inspired by ancient methods of pit-firing. By the time I arrived the pots were safely tucked up under the bonfire and couldn't be seen, but it was certainly an unusual experience to see a bonfire in the heart of the city!

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For anyone who loves rusty treasures like I do, a trip to the foreshore is always a bonus!

Sunday took me to the Making Ground open day. This is a really inspiring collaboration between ceramicist Elaine Bolt, basket-maker Annemarie O'Sullivan and a disused brickpit site outside Horam in East Sussex. The site is a lovely watery tree-y place to relax and recharge anyway, but for one day visitors could also see and play with the 'wild' clay that they had dug from the site.

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Some of the artworks made on the site were also on display.

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As was the kiln, built from a willow framework and the clay from the site.

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It was surprisingly moving to see things being made so directly from the un-processed materials found in a place, and to see them in that very place, and made me think about how I could find ways incorporate wilder gathered materials and 'place-ness' more into my work...