The annual undergraduate trip to La Pedrix, France took place over the Easter break, involving both first and second year ceramics students. They were set tasks devised to heighten the immersive experience of an artist residency.
Students were set a double brief. In one week they needed to: design an interlocking nest of camping cook ware, bowls, plates and cups and also devise sculptural kilns made of ancient clay to be part of a firing spectacular on the final night based on the theme of reliquaries and relics.
The double brief was to encourage students to recognise the experience of inhabiting different modes of thinking 1) to achieve the accuracy and predesign necessary to measure interlocking components, 2) to appreciate the more sequential communication of meaning and theatrical possibilities of story telling.
Students were asked to base their kilns on ‘original narratives’; fairy tales, folk lore and myth. The form of the reliquaries was to relate to the relic inside and the phenomena of fire (once the kiln was alight), to activate and push the story further.