Working with clay feels like a very natural and organic process. I feel that I am drawn to clay through its earthy qualities. Clay is described as a fine grained natural soil or rock mineral, that has traces of metals oxides and organic matter. Soil is one of the most essential attributes of our planet, containing minerals that are vital for life. The part that most fascinates me about soil is that it is made up of ‘organic matter’, decayed life that adds back necessary nutrients and life giving minerals. Soil is a history of the ages, a reminder of what once was and will influence, what will be. Modelling with clay, gives me a childlike connection with nature, just as a child likes to play with mud, but also there is a primal quality involved and something which feels instinctive. Due to the delicacy and care needed when modelling, the process feels tender and like I am creating new life out of old.
Once the piece has dried, it is then blasted by fire, petrifying this once wet mud full of past lives into a stone. This feels like the creation of the earth and the beginnings of times. Through fire life has been brought out of the earth into solid form.
Finally after the piece has stood strong for many an age, it crumbles back into the earth to become a part of the soil again.
To be a part of this process, feels like controlling elements and understanding nature’s power in creation. To pull shapes out of soil and turn them into stone-like materials, feels like being some form of creator.