Another week, another update.
I've spent some long nights fringing up leather and slicing Bridgedale socks to create the seaweed at the base of La Pachamama Santa Maria's cape. I'm pleased with the movement it gives at her feet and the contrast of the two materials. I hope you agree.
Then it was on to real seaweed. I needed to collect it to grind into natural glaze for the sculpture's pots. Lo and behold, the storms in February came way in land and left some drying on a barbed wire fence in a field for me, perfectly washed by the rain to get the salt off and dried brittle in the sun.
And finally, on the recommendation of Joe Hogan,I spent the day with Bob Johnston (Joe taught Bob, who has gone on to be a Northern Irish basketmaking treasure).
Bob showed myself and four others how to weave a traditional Irish potato sieve.
Whilst making the basket, Bob and I discussed neolithic basketry, how it was used to make pots - both in the sieving of clay and the shaping of pots. And also how I can downsize the basketry techniques.
[for those social history buffs amongst us]
Bob explained that the potatoes would be boiled in a big pan, then strained and served in the sieve resting on the pan. Everyone would crowd around the sieve and eat their subsistence meal of potatoes. Apparently, this type of basket (without the handle - that was just put on so I could learn to make a one) is commonly used in Irish art to signify the famine. The artists placed the sieve upright and empty in the foreground to show the lack of food.
Til next week,