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Saturday, 9 January 2016

The Bell

In my last post about the drum I mentioned that I had been inspired by making ceramic work that could have additional interest added to it through sound, as well as combining and constructing together different mediums, along side clay work.

In August last year me and a friend rented a car and took a road trip back to my home land of Scotland. During the week long trip we managed to cram in many places, but my personal highlight was re-visiting a place very special to my heart: The Isle of Mull. As a young child my family used to visit there and, being back there brought back a lot of good memories for me.

One thing I miss immensely from back home is being by the coast. Upon visiting Mull we took a day trip to the island of Staffa, made up of hexagonal columns of volcanic rock. When we got there we had some time to explore the uninhabited island. We visited one if the island's Sea Caves, named Fingal's Cave, after the giant, and found a little beach. From the beach I collected some rope, drift wood and bones found from a dead seal.

Approaching Staffa

Fingal's Cave

On returning to Cambridge, a few months later, my brother got in touch to let me know he was planning on getting married at the end of the year. From the pieces I collected from the place we used to holiday together as children, I knew what I could make for a meaningful wedding present to give to them on the big day.

The piece really satisfied my need to combine materials using terracotta, crank, B17C and porcelain clay bodies, along with melted glass, wood and bone, the found objects giving the bell a further sentimental value. The work is meant to have a spiritual, primitive feel about it. I used the circle throughout to symbolize the eternal commitment and unison of marriage. The string that links the bottom section has been carefully considered so that the link in it is not visible from the front of the piece, so it appears to be an infinite loop, joining different the various elements together as it passes through them.  The various elements may be different shapes, but fit together to support one another, as I believe, a good partnership should.

Terracotta, B17C and porcelain clay bodies with melted glass

Terracotta and crank clay bodies with melted glass, wood and bone

Bone, wood and slab build, low-fire burnished pendant

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