From Potholes to Landfill 27th April 2013

From Potholes to Landfill: where does clay come from? what is clay? where is it going?

Saturday 27th of April

Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Lumsden

pothole (plural potholes)

1.  (archaeology) A pit resulting from unauthorized excavation by treasure hunters or vandals.

In celebration of the new ceramics workshop emerging and taking shape here at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, we are holding a one day event: Potholes to Land Fill. This workshop will be a combination of conversation around and practical engagement with clay, bringing together practitioners with different practices, knowledge and modes of research, in order to help build and develop the SSW ceramics workshop as an exciting destination for exploring the possibilities of clay and its relations with landscape, work, ecology, art and science.

The workshop will be a forum where theory and discussion meets practice and making. We will be working with clay through its journey from pothole to landfill; we will start with digging and gathering clay from the land and follow through to the possibilities of making and forming with this material and, over the evening the transformation of clay to ceramic through fire, all the while talking and discussing. At every stage we will use the landscape surrounding SSW as the source and resource for material, process and discussion, bringing together artists, curators, geologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, farmers, environmental studies, and material science; all of whom have an interest in and practice with clay. 

From this exercise we hope to answer the questions

•     How can the ceramics workshop become a sustainable part of SSW?
•     What can SSW do to become a destination for work, research, and discussions on clay, land and landscape?
•     How the workshop can become a catalyst for bringing together different forms of research into what clay is and can be?
•     How can we develop an archive, an ongoing body and space of research, through which the workshop can become a centre for research, of interest not just to artists but many different practitioners?



– Introduction from SSW and tour.

– Clay dig: we will be taking our shovels and jackets to gather clay from the banks of river Bogie, with a discussion about the geology, ecology and extraction of clay.

Lunch (provided by SSW)


-Making and round table discussion.


-Dinner (provided by SSW with Pot Luck from anyone who wishes to contribute)

– Pit firing with hot toddies- weather permitting. Together the group can construct a pit firing. This will be with ceramic work already made here including examples of ceramic techniques using the surrounding environment (Ash glazes, and locally sourced clay.) The work will become part of the SSW ceramic archive.

There are limited spaces available for this event, to attend please email or contact the SSW office on 01464 861372.


One response to “From Potholes to Landfill 27th April 2013

  1. Reblogged this on making connections and commented:
    I’m involved in organising this event at the end of the month at SSW, get in touch with Emily if you’re interested in coming along, should be an interesting day. We’ve got a geologist, archaeologist, anthropologist, ceramicists and environmentalists so far!

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