Walking Slowly

Walking Slowly. Lachrymatories, Series 2021

Lachrymatories, more commonly known as tear bottles, were first used during the Roman period to collect the tears of mourners.  Each bottle was made just the right size to hold in the palm of a hand.  In my work I have used these small ceramic vessels to express species loss. 

In my current series however, they have become a symbol of hope.  After daily walks during this past year, I have amassed a large collection of jetsam and flotsam e.g., fan coral, shells, drift-wood and other interesting finds along our coastlines e.g., iron nails and driftwood used for ship building, remnants of hand-made fishing nets and rusted metal from oyster and mussel bed cultivation.  From my woodland walks, I have collected dried flowers, tree bark and seed heads.  Some of the bottles made for this series have been complemented with one of these found treasures as a stopper, others have a ceramic stopper. 

I have made individual pieces as well as small and large collections, they can be wall hung by their linen or hemp cords from a single wall fixing or from a rusted steel rack or ledge. 

Each hand formed porcelain vessel has undergone various techniques to recreate natural colours and textures.  Some have undergone multiple firings e.g, sagger, smoke and raku.  Others are left in the beautiful pure whiteness of porcelain which further enhances their unique stoppers.