The opening line of Blake’s Auguries of Innocence‘To see a World in a Grain of Sand’ provided the impetus to try and build a world out of clay. And that is what I have continued doing more or less ever since.
I build large, hollow spheres by hand from stoneware. These are then fired using a volcanic glaze. The surfaces are coloured and textured, some highly so, in order to create an impression of volcanic craters, lava flows and meteorite strikes. Since the worlds are impervious to the elements, they are displayed either indoors or outside, plinth-mounted or placed directly on the ground. When several are suspended from above they give an impression of a distant galaxy floating in space. They come in three sizes, large, medium and small. The large ones are about 50 cm in diameter and weigh around 10 kg. The small ones are 15 cm and 1.2 kg respectively and the medium ones somewhere in between.
Working on projects over the years I have become fascinated by the complementary nature of different textures and colours applied to the same basic shape. Similarly with regard to scale: the sphere lends itself, by virtue of its pure and simple form, to an exploration of the relativism of scale. Thus it is possible for different viewers, or the same viewer at different times, when looking at these shapes, to imagine anything from the cellular to the galactic.
Recently I have begun to experiment with using the spherical form as building blocks for composite geometric structures, principally tetrahedrons - four-faced equilateral triangles