Monday, September 28, 2009

Revisiting Forced Age

It has been 6 months to the day that I first set out to the misty March woods to lay my pots to rest.
It was one of my first posts; and I was quite excited for the little experiment.
To recall, I set some earthenware pots I made on the woodland floor and covered them with moss and mud to attempt to force age upon them. I would travel back there from time to time and take a peek, but not to truly investigate the results. I would wait for the 6 month time line I gave myself.

So into the now; late September woods I went.

I set the pots down in the woods near the spring creek; and a wild rose bush that's now covered in beautiful hips.

Back in March when I placed the pots, I created a stick structure over them to mark there whereabouts as well as protect them from falling debris or animals trampling them.

As I crept behind the rose bush, there was the wooden tee pee with my pots safe inside.

As you can see in the photo, some time during the summer I also put some commercial pots in the mix as well to see if the different clay body would react differently to the environment.

So i squatted down and took a closer look.

The pots seemed to happy here. They were moist with their pumpkin tones glowing. And yes moss was starting to take hold as well.

With this closer inspection I quickly realized that this type of moss; as content as it was here growing on the pots in the woods, it would not survive out of this environment.

I was looking for more of an algae looking moss that would truly bond to the surface of the pots; almost like green paint.

with this slight disappointment I started to pick up the pots one by one and give them a real examination.

A - Ha; Yes! I said to myself.

This is what I was looking for. This moss variety seemed to be the right one. As sparse and delicate as it was, over time it would colonize the earthenware surface of these little pots.

With this glimmer of success I put the the pots back down on the woodland floor; and headed back to check on my other attempt to force age by the turkey coup.

There I placed commercial pots around mid August beneath a down spout from the roof. There was large bed of moss and with this location I could check on the pots more easily and as often as I wished.

These pots took on age at an alarming pace. With their time being there for less than 2 months they were showing amazing color. That blush of green was present on all of them.

I have determined that I think my pots; when fired in the kiln were brought up to a temperature that might have been to high for the likeliness of moss to grow on them.
That high temperature sealed up the porous surface of the pots preventing the moss to truly grab hold and thrive.

This coming winter when I do make more planters I won't fire them in the kiln to such a temperature. This will hopefully make them more porous and appealing to the moss.

In addition next spring I will take half of the pots and put them back in their woodland home and the other half will be relocated to the moist ground of the turkey coups down spout.

The experiment will continue!

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