For over twenty thousand years humans have been digging clay from the earth, manipulating it to create new forms, and firing them to make them permanent. The processes by which these artefacts were formed and fired, are recoded in the surfaces of the objects themselves. From these clues I recreate clay bodies and hand tools, reconstruct ancient potters wheels and kilns and resurect the pots themselves.
Each and every pot tells a story, or more likely many stories: It is the product of the society that created it with a lineage that speaks of links trade routes, contacts and migrations. The materials and processes of its production, give hints as to the technological and industrial development of its parent culture. It is the unique creation of a single potter or workshop at a single point in time and carries the marks and imprints made by those people. These marks record the movement of fingers and tools across the clay or the spin or wobble of a wheel all long since decayed to dust and yet here they leave their signature. Its fabric may also carry the memory of its ordeal by fire and possibly the cracks imperfections caused by those flames. Its decoration may illustrate myths or the daily lives of civilisations that passed from memory before recorded history. Different uses give rise to a variety of forms, each carrying information about the function for which it was designed, domestic, culinary, ritual, etc.. The deposition or disposal of the pot at the end of its life can add yet another chapter to this narrative.
It is my job to interpret the, sometimes obscure, language of pots and to bring the story back to life in the recreation of tools, wheels, kilns, processes and replicas of the pots themselves. This aids the understandin of archaeological sites and artefacts in museums.