FORAGING: TASK AS RITUAL
In a Summer 2016 studio, I studied foraging to improve and celebrate the experience. Our assignment was to choose a task we don’t typically do and to make it part of our lives. The goal was not to create tools don’t necessarily make foraging easier, but make foraging better.
The end result was tools for foraging made by foraging. Based on the observation that foraging's value is in connection and transformation, the best tools for foraging aren't commercially sold, but a manifestation of those values.
LEARNING TO FORAGE I made foraging part of my life. A couple of times every week I would go foraging. I learned to cook and eat wild foods. I also found several people whose life and job are based in foraging and talked to them to learn more.
A friend told me about a good clay deposit in the Little Miami River. With advice from a potter who uses local clay, I sieved and dried the clay into a usable material.
▾ LEATHER & RAWHIDE
I picked up a cow hide from a local meat market. I then went through a two month process of cleaning, dehairing, tanning and drying the hide into usable leather. Afterwards the leather was dyed with coffee.
Gross but rewarding.
I used some firewood I had cut down earlier so it was nice and dry by the time I needed it for the project. I pulled out a couple pieces that were split and could be cut into blanks for turning.
I searched around my neighborhood until I could find a good piece of metal. I eventually found a discarded street sign and after some research figured out it was aluminum. Once I stripped the decal off the front and sandblasted off any dirt and residue it was pretty much restored to a new piece of sheet metal.