SALT THEORY Maybe the gabbro pots found around the uk were used to transport salt. With the iron age salt works just round the corner at st keverne, the type of vessels, time periods and geographic locations of the salt works and clay source, mirrored with the locations the pots have been found, mainly, Devon, Dorset and Wiltshire are circumstantial evidence of this connection. I want to restrace those steps, to reimagine those processes and techniques, using the same minerals and materials in the same landscapes, but this time using the most state or the art, ecologically sound equipment and processes. Could Lipid crest analysis of Gabbroic Vessels found in these locations give us some indication to their uses, helping identify the reason why this clay had such providence in its time. Work with Cornish salt, bases in the same location as the original iron age salt works, to help create salt, using electrical currents to form salt crystals, the most ecologically friendly production method of extraction, this is the most cutting edge technology. This salt is then transported in Gabbroic Pots that have been 3D printed by solar power, in remote locations around the UK, using the same clays and minerals as the ancient gabbroic pots this projects is mapping. DR WOOD Imogen’s doctoral thesis investigated the shift in clay-sourcing strategies and production during the transition from Romano-British to early medieval communities in Cornwall using petrographic analysis and ethnographic analogy. The results highlighted the interconnectivity of socialised people, raw materials and the networks inherent to any society. A single source of clay – the Gabbro – was utilised in the production of pottery in Cornwall for 6000 years, and became a node in the socialised landscape, linking people with a place where the origin of traditions and kinship were physically expressed and open to personal experience. The inclusion of gabbroic clay in ceramics over time became a socially significant performance integral to the maintenance of society and regional identities; consequently its decline in the early medieval period signified a fragmentation of kinship network and regional identities, providing a unique indicator of social change for this period. CORNISH SEASALT In 2008, Cornish Sea Salt was set up to bridge the ancient and modern worlds. Production is still inspired by the original methods of harvesting the goodness of the ocean, but these days it is sustainable and ecologically sound. Furthermore, the old industry has been future-proofed for the community and re- routed in ethical ideals. The original founder, Tony Fraser, came across an Iron Age salt works in a remote cove on the south coast of Cornwall while out walking. Most people would have made a mental note and carried on with their lives. This would be one of the very few sea salt industries harvesting from open waters, more specifically the protected waters of the Atlantic lapping at the shores of The Lizard, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Beneath the beauty is a totally unique geographical environment, which defines the taste and high mineral content of our sea salt. Serpentine, once so sought after in the Victorian era, and gabbro, are both rich in magnesium and calcium, two of the key minerals in our sea salt and essential to life on earth. Read more at https://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/archaeology/staff/iwood/#fVCrY8iIFtY0QmF6.99 Peacock subsequently proposed that not only were gabbroic pots being exported, but that non-gabbroic vessels elsewhere must be copies of Cornish forms (Peacock, 1969b, 147). Exported Neolithic gabbroic pottery has been found as far afield as Hembury (Devon), Maiden Castle (Dorset) 30 and Windmill Hill (Wiltshire), possibly representing an extensive associated trade network (Anderson, 1984, 121). OUTLINE To collaborate with a robotics engineer to build/ modify a 3D printer to print Clay in remote locations running off Green energy Create 3D computer models of Gabbroic / mix Neolithic Pots from original pot shards from historic sites around the UK. To create exact mixes of these clays from spectrographic analysis of original pot shards To print 3D copies of these pots using said clays in specific remote location around the UK To use lipid crest analysis of ancient gabbroic vessels to see what was cooked or stored within them. To cook a dinner in them for guests on location using the same ingredients. As local to the source as possible. SON MAT // HAND TASTE There is a connected idea between the son mat of food and the artists hand within pottery. Technology has advanced to a point that we can 3D print a replica pot made 6000 years ago. We can now even do this remotely, powdered by only the sun, in isolated locations around the world. Additionally we are able to identify the exact locations of the clays used in pottery 6000 years ago down to a matter of miles. Even more incredibly, we can through Organic residue analysis, find out what was stored or cooked within these vessels. This is beyond comprehension. The problem comes from nuance, the exchange and handing down of knowledge, this is lost forever. The passage of time with both objects and food means knowledge of creation is lost forever. We will never know how a person cooked a certain food, how it tasted, the nuance of seasoning, the quantities, how long it was cooked. We will never be able to accurately identify how a particular pot was made, how their hand moved, how they coiled, pressed and pulled a pot, the length of time it fired and how it was fired, the intensity of the flame or the fuel used. This knowledge, like all undocumented individual actions are lost forever with its creator . with technological advances we can now 3D print a prehistoric pot, to replicate it. We can, thanks to professor Evershed, and his work on lipid crest analysis, identify ingredients cooked within a pot 6000 years ago. These technologies still do not enables us to understand or replicate the touch of hand. The movement of clay during the making process. The nuance of particle alignment and displacement in a pot created through coiling, wedging, throwing or pinching. In addition, we will never be able to replicate precisely, a dish cooked 6000 years ago. There are too many variables. The adjusting of seasoning throughout cooking, unique to the tastes of the chef. The order in which an ingredient was introduced to a pan, the length of time a dish was cooked for or even the quantity and quality of an ingredient. You may be able to cook your grandmother’s apple pie recipe but you will never make it like she did. The item is created out of context, in a field, by a 3D printer are remote. Inhuman. Like archeological evidence. Like a museum exhibit. It is only once held in the hand, used, cooked in, its function performed, that one can truly connect to it, to understand it. If one removes the function of a object, one removes its most basic instinct, rendering it useless. Or do they? Once the function is removed does this leave space for a new function, room for purpose to spill out and fill this void. The freedom that comes from the removal of function.
My two biggest loves ... Salt & archaeology