The map is not the territory


Over the last couple of days, I've been trying different ways of transferring the contours of a cardboard eggtray into a clay body, using standard white clay slip. Initially I tried dipping the tray into the slip and then (separately) pouring the slip over the cardboard surface (see previous post - images pending), and then I made a  one-piece plaster mould as a test to see how much of the surface detail of the cardboard would transfer to the plaster. I poured in some slip, which I left to set over the weekend. The results of today's demoulding are documented below. Immediately as I began to take the mould apart, the clay, still damp (though now solid), started to reveal obvious cracks before pulling apart entirely. This was seemingly because I had waited too long before demoulding, causing the clay to dry-out and shrink in the mould. Initially this felt like a failure, until I started to look at the fragments and saw that they had something about them that made them potentially much more interesting than the coherent structure that I had conceived. These muddy forms seemed to reveal something of their terrain, of the earth from which the material was dug. Though these were formed from a commercially processed clay, they recalled my experience of digging clay directly from the ground and I am beginning to imagine some kind of coalesence of these two processes.

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