Photos and reporting by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL, 62035, USA. If you enjoyed this post, then give me a “like” on my Facebook page. There is additional information about Beachfront Pottery on my web site.
I compiled a list of areas where oceans and beaches can be sources of inspiration for my art work. One item on that list is the clash of oceans and man made structures. With a time machine at my disposal it was easy to visit the 27th century, and check out an under sea archaeological dig where ceramic forms from the 25th century were being excavated. Residents of that 25th century settlement lost the ability to make ceramics, so they scavenged broken ceramic fragments, and then assembled them into functional items. Because I wasn’t allowed to take any of those ceramic items back to the 21st century, I decided to remake them myself.
The assembly of ceramic fragments were frequently done by nails, bolts, bicycle chains, or other metallic objects holding the pieces together. Rumor has it that some assembly included books, paintings on canvas (probably taken from museums or private collections. I’ll have to check those out before I can write a post about that type of construction.
In this post I describe a bolted ceramic bowl, based on those 25th century items from the seafloor archaeology dig.
The Effort and the Resulting Pieces
This is the plaster mold I used to form the white earthenware and terra cotta clay sheets. When I turn this mold upside down I can lay a clay sheet on top of it, and dry it.
Those formed bowl fragment are positioned to form a bowl, and then I drill holes using a masonry drill bit. Here you see how I place bolts into the semi dry clay to hold the fragments in place while I drill the rest of the holes.
After bisque firing the ceramic pieces they are fit together by regular steel bolts.
The bolts then need to be rusted in a vinegar and salt mixture that has rusty steel and some copper wires. Here you see the ziplock bag with the mixture inside.
The bolts are taken out after a few days, and ried on a paper towel.
This is the end result with ceramic pieces assembled using the rusted bolts. This bowl has already won two honorable mentions at juried multimedia exhibits!!!