I have often wondered why one of my great loves does not influence my ceramics. After all, my work is about vessels which carry a story. So why does my love of sailing not come in somewhere? The answer escapes me but, in a week where progress in the studio has been just that – progress – and we have had our first outing of the year in Annika, I decided not to write for the sake of it and instead to share with you the two aspects of my love for vessels.
To the beautiful sea and the sky, I find the rocks exciting and have simply no idea why! (with sincere apologies to John Masefield).
Actually I do. Take the Lizard Peninsular for example. I was there this week collecting a lovely piece of ceramics from Richard Phethean which I had bought at a master class given by him last Sunday. (More of that in another post). The sun was shining – which it had steadfastly failed to do for the preceding few days – and I was motivated to check in on the igeology app on my phone to find somewhere interesting to explore. Sure enough it was not long before I was indulging in a geology fest on a beautiful beach backed by glorious cliffs and with a myriad of rock pools and some pretty nasty looking rocks out in the surf waiting to snare any passing sailors.
The app described an area of ‘Unnamed Igneous Intrusion, Devonian – Felsic-rock. Igneous Bedrock formed approximately 359 to 416 million years ago in the Devonian Period. Local environment previously dominated by intrusions of silica-rich magma’. Cool! Loads of interesting things might happen to a small sample of this mixed into porcelain in the kiln. But to be frank, I think the app was only telling a small part of the story. Everywhere I turned the colours altered. There were red rocks, green rocks, blue rocks: a regular case of rock porn! I scampered around on the beach like a kid in a sweet shop exclaiming at the colours in the pebbles on the beach and admiring the shells – even they seemed to have absorbed some of the magic of the place and shone with an iridescent golden glow.
Of course, being the disorganised clot that I am, this was the moment for my camera battery to give up and I came home with almost no images of the strata. Hopeless! But the reassuring thing is that I now know of yet another great place to go to the next time that I need to marvel at the incredible beauty of our landscape.
I am also driven to seek out my geology books and discover precisely what I was looking at.