Day 19 of the 30 Day Challenge

Today I finally got round to photographing what I’d created during my time at Animal Artistry last week. The glazes, triumphs and lessons.

In a world where we’re obsessed with either being controlled or being in control, the freedom I feel with ceramics has been a revelation.

Creating something with my hands from what is effectively mud, then using fire and air to turn it to, “stone” is magical. I remember visiting Mother Shipton’s Cave as a kid and being in awe and wonder at the items turned to stone in the petrifying well – including teddy bears! It was like nature could magically make things last forever, a feeling I get when the ceramic animals come to life.

Mother Shipton’s Cave and the Petrifying Well

Mother Shipton is England’s most famous Prophetess. She foretold the fates of several rulers within and just after her lifetime, as well as the invention of iron ships, the Great Fire of London in 1666, and the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

The Petrifying Well is England’s oldest visitor attraction. It was first recorded by the king’s antiquary in 1538 and has been visited by millions of people since 1630. It is here that you can watch every day objects turn to stone. Compared with a stalactite or stalagmite, the items petrify very quickly – a small teddy bear takes around 3-5 months. You can take a stone teddy bear home with you, they are available to buy in the gift shop.

Earthenware glaze samples