Artist: Eden Jolly
Artisan: Darrell Markewitz, Wareham Forge
Writers: Maxime Hourani and Deirdre O’Mahony
Exploring material, resources and landscape, this Slow Prototype project looks at the processes, skills, and heritage of taking raw materials through to workable implements.
During summer 2013, a nearby archaeological investigation unearthed evidence of metal working within a Pictish fort. Taking inspiration from the finds, SSW Artist and Technician Eden Jolly attempted to recreated a bloomery iron furnace, working with information provided by archaeologist Dr. Gordon Noble to explore the methods and practices involved to produce workable iron from raw iron ore. From this, the conversation diversified to a wider exploration of skill, process, and material – material as a resource but also as a subject of procurement within both modern and historical landscapes.
During August 2014, Darrell Markewitz, master blacksmith based at Wareham Forge, Ontario, is working alongside Eden to refine the bloomery process, utilising evidence from archaeological investigations to create the most efficient working model of a man-powered bloomery furnace. The aim is to use the resulting iron ‘bloom’ to forge a ceremonial axe, such as the one that is depicted on the renowned Rhynie Man standing stone from 700 AD.
As a cross-disciplinary project, the focus is on collaboration and peer exchange, working with artists, artisans, scientists, historians and academics, with writers Maxime Hourani (Lebanon) and Deirdre O’Mahony (Ireland) documenting the collaborative research process.