Saturday, 3 October 2015

Psuedoshards. . .

Anyone who might have come across my work will probably have noticed that I like to make things look a great deal older than they really are. I have always liked the patina that age and use, or neglect come to that, gives to things, both natural and man made. So I age things up a lot.
This especially applies to me image transfer work. All those 'little squares' I wittered on about in a previous post. I love the way that an object with a brand new, digitally derived pattern or image, that could only have been made in the last ten to fifteen years, as the technology didn't exist before then, can be made to look as though it has just been dug up from an archaeological site somewhere, where it had lain for 200 years. I say 'somewhere' as the pieces in question resemble ancient artifacts, but you can't quite put your finger on what era or geographical location they seem to come from. They exhibit 'ancientness', and tap into whatever idea of ancientness we carry in our minds. They are the manifestation of an idea, rather than the reality that idea was formed by. I hope that makes some sort of sense. I could go on. . . and make even less sense, but I won't. 

So, as you can see by the pictures, I have been taking this idea a bit further. I have always liked broken shards of pottery, and the fact that (in the UK at least) they turn up in the ground almost everywhere. In cultivated land I should add. Little bits of blue and white pottery turn up in ploughed fields, allotments and urban gardens, not to mention washed up on beaches. I used to joke that there was a Victorian society whose object was to scatter broken crockery in every field in the UK. You could imagine the special outings they had. . . ;-)

So I made some 'Psuedoshards'. Fake shards made from polymer clay, with my digital images on, distressed to high heaven in my usual manner. I really like them. And judging by the reaction of the nice people on Facebook, so do others. They seem to fit the zeitgeist of a certain section of the jewelry making fraternity sorority. . . I am really looking forward to exploring this avenue further. So keep an eye out for these shards turning up in my shop over the next few weeks and beyond.
Jon x


  1. Love these. Are they for sale, Jon?

    1. Hi Claire, I'm working on it. . I'm going to drill the ones in the pics and put them up in my shop, and make some more later in the week. Glad you like them ;-)

  2. These are delicious to my eyeballs.

  3. Gorgeous Jon!!

    How lucky that you get to find so many shards in the UK. I've found 3 pieces in my own yard here in Canada but they aren't ancient - obviously something discarded by a very careless (and probably drunk) person. Sigh...

    Finding something like this would make my heart sing!! You've done an incredible job of 'ancient'!

    1. My parents used to belong to a field walking club, whose members walked ploughed fields, with the farmer's consent, in conjunction with local archaeologists, looking for Roman pot shards etc. I used to go with them sometimes, trudging, eyes down over the muddy earth, though Roman shards are pretty boring to be honest. . . Maybe I should try burying some of mine and seeing what they look like in a few months ;-)

    2. My brother is a potter - so shards are something we both find quite fascinating! Plus there's the thing now about making jewelry from pieces of shards.

      I'm assuming that any shards that were found by the walking club were always turned over? Is that a requirement?

      Here we look for arrowheads. That's pretty much what turns up - hardly any pottery shards at all. Well - those and dinosaur bones but those you have to turn over and notify the proper people. (yup - I live in Alberta)