Sea China Shards and Cornish Leaves: A New Inspiration

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The first five weeks at my course at Plymouth College of Art has allowed  more experimenting with leaves, this time Cornish leaves  collected from the National Trust Gardens of Antony and Glendurgan. I have even discoved the Foxglove tree, which has huge leaves when young, like  a giant's palm. I have plans to grow them for the leaves to experiment further. Meanwhile, the collected leaf imprints have been turned into a large bowl with words inspired by Cornish trees.  I have used dark brown and yellow slip with a brown oxide on a smooth stoneware clay.

Cornish Oak

The second  project was to do something new and different, almost pioneering, if possible.

On a previous blog,  I have mentioned that on Torpoint's shaley beach there are small pieces of beach china, which I like to call "willow pattern". There is a rich supply of these small shards of pottery from broken ornaments or plates, tiles or teapots. They are very attractive and I had used them in my gravel path in the garden.

 I had an idea that these pieces could potentially be refired again, perhaps in the glazing process with fresh glaze. This week , the idea worked and these beautiful very old shard pieces scoured from my local beach has become part of a ceramic Abstract Heart.

One thing which caught my imagination was that during the glaze firing of the Heart, the glaze on the  shards of pottery must have melted and mixed with the new Matt glaze, like the melding of ancient and new. I have no accurate idea of how old these pieces are but they could date back over 300 years old. What an amazing thought that the last time they were in a kiln could have been in China, handled by someone in the 17th Century, now these have mixed with 21st century ceramics in a modern kiln. 

Cornish Shard



Close up of Shard

Ancient shard of porcelain

 First fired centuries ago

Carried across an ocean

Waiting on a Cornish sea floor

Refired again in a computerised kiln.

New and old  melded and revitalised

Mixed as History and Future



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