Life for Life
The ingredients for life; food, water, shelter, others of your kind.
Jennifer Berry tells a story of life created from the clay with a series of ceramic sculptures designed for colonization by organisms. Porcelain is inherently uninhabitable by nature of its hard, smoothness. Jennifer set out to change the physical properties of this clay, increasing porosity, surface area and texture. By using organic elements in the unfired clay bodies, the conditions for life can begin.
Porcelain has been altered to increase surface area and trap soil and moisture. Over time, leaves breakdown to form soil, and organic material begins to be colonized by moss, lichen and fungi.
In order to increase the surface area of the porcelain, pockets were formed in slabs of wet clay. Clay body impregnated with organic materials, when fired, has an increased porosity that acts less like fired clay and more like weathered stone, allowing the colonization by simple and colonial organisms.
Glass elements and organic materials have been added to this clay body so when fired is becomes porous enough to float.
Fibrous organic material is dipped in porcelain slip and then fired, the result being a porous clay body that has a capillary effect similar to a sponge, a perfect substrate for epiphytic plants.