It has been an interesting few days.

Today I was flying something of a fantasy to myself about how you might explain the appeal of sprig moulds in ceramics to children. I was inventing a whole series of connections around the idea of one of my moulds of a custard cream that appear on my plates.

I decided that the main things are the transformational possibilities of casting things into clay, the possibility of making patterns and the return of things in the work, like 3D printing.
And I was thinking of the transformational aspects, the transforming of a biscuit into a memorial of itself, of the clay biscuit lasting into the future far longer than any biscuit could, transmogrified by art. Of people looking at this clay biscuit in many years to come and speculating on the exact nature of the object, long since mouldered into mush.

And so on. When I got to school I was working on a tester plate on a plastic picnic plate that I could use with the kids as a mould and I tried out a biscuit sprig mould. This time I painted some black slip into the mould and then pressed the red clay in. It came out as black biscuit, both comic and sad and an instant little memorial that I stuck on the plate.

Had I preloaded my unconscious to do that by my flight of fancy over a mortal biscuit? I hadn’t really planned it that way directly. It just came out like that. When I looked at the biscuit on the plate looking like a tiny monument to biscuits I remembered what I had been thinking about on the way in. Very odd thing.

In the end the children I didn’t need much of an explanation. I made three moulds in front of year seven this morning and an audience of my technician who had rolled out the clay, David who collects Lowestoft Porcelain and helps me out, Carlos and the deputy head who had dropped in on another matter. I took a cast off an old camera someone had given me, a made sprig and tried to make a plate mould off a plate from Oxfam. I talked to the children about what they might make a sprig of for their commemorative plates.