Casting the Negative



How can I make a vessel using the clay bed? This was the question I asked myself when realising that using local clay was an important factor in my work on contemporary culture in the UK. Having found a site I now needed to find a method to make objects.

Taking common garden tools to the site I began to dig a range of small voids in which plaster could be poured and left to set. The plaster void could then be manipulated in the studio.

Some voids were too shallow, the clay bed being solid and difficult to dig. All were so full of undercuts that casting  would be impossible. To erode the undercuts in the casting process would polish out any sense of the site and the moment of making; so how can I make voids with a genuine site experience?

Previously I had removed undercuts by repeatedly forcing a plaster model into clay before casting again. This process gives the model movement and life. However it happened after the original casting and away from the site. To use this process at the site would speak much more of the terrain quality as well as making objects that can be casted. Now, how to create the voids? Using objects from the site appears the most coherent response to this. Objects from the site, speak for the site and of the site.

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