my slow writing ink project evolved from a deeply held belief that over-consumption and a lack of awareness of provenance has caused the important things in life to lose value. we acquire things so very easily, without thought of where they came from or where they’ll go when we’ve finished with them.
out of a commitment to living and making with only the materials and tools i had or could make, came the necessity to find an alternative to mineral oil and synthetic colour.
the gathering of ingredients, collecting or making necessary tools and the many slow and time consuming processes that went into making such a simple everyday product, became the art work.
initially i made ink samples using 5 base ingredients and following ancient traditional recipes: ivory, vine, lamp, hawthorn and gallo-tannic. walnut and indigo have now been added to this list.
my recordings of the processes involved in making the ink is the tracing of an act; where the objects and the maker’s thoughts become linked, beginning a sense of conversation.
the collection of objects, inks and prints highlights themes that run through my work: encouraging a lighter touch on our earth, seeing beauty in daily life, cherishing ideas without franchise, sharing resources, doing it yourself and importantly, enjoying the act of doing.
the artwork itself is not the endpoint, it is in flux, forming a focal point where shared ideas can emerge. i want this work to engage on many levels – to evoke enchantment with nature, to charm the viewer, and to kindle care in the choices we make.
the work continues; i’m now making more inks and have made them printable. these have been used to make a series of prints, textiles and handmade books containing the stories that reveal the ingredients, the people and the methods that made them.
Read my paper for the Making Futures conference here