A few days ago I agreed to do a creative play-day with a fellow artist: Leon van Deuzen. In the morning she came to my studio to work in metal clay and in the afternoon I went painting in her atelier.
To get her started I showed some basic techniques. I was rolling a metal clay snake when suddenly it went “plop” in my head. There was a vision of how I could make Ammonite shapes staying authentic to how these animals grow.
Since visiting the Natuurhistorisch Museum in Maastricht earlier this year, I am fascinated by Ammonites. John Jagt, the paleontologist who kindly gave me a tour, showed me a fine example where the shell structure is gone and you can see the joint lines, called sutures. (see the picture on this page)
The several ammonite types have different suture patterns and I find them very interesting.
It’s is a mark of growth.
When the body of the ammonite moves to the next chamber it closes the one before and at that point the sutures arise.
So with my hands I grew a metal clay spiral from inside out while making sutures lines with a small tool.
There is something I learned from making this shape:
I too grow upon previous structures from inside out and leave growing marks!
The "sutures" I create are my jewellery, the visible remains of my actions.
It’s a wonderful feeling when I recognize how creative play leads to thoughts like this. When I work, my hands tell a story, I just listen and create. Writing them down helps me to understand why.
“As it was part of the deal” I had to paint in the afternoon. A suggestion from Leon was to make an ammonite shape.
So I did and had fun doing it!
ps. You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.