Conversation around use of natural materials and charcoal making.

I had an interesting exchange with artist, Oliver Reed, on the OCA blog here-

Me-Really enjoyed seeing the video of you at work and talking about your work. I am intrigued to know what it was you were grating, was it graphite or pastels? From looking at your images of ‘passing through’ i see you also used gum arabic, is that what you were mixing it with? I was also interested to hear you talking about working with materials ‘of’ the landscape and how they can relate to the sense of place and memory in that landscape, I have been working with willow, using charcoal and experimenting with making inks, so interesting to think how I could extend what I am doing.

Oliver-I was using carbon sticks, charcoal and pastels and grate when into Gum Arabic to then apply with a brush, knife or stone. If you look at my website and follow the project link. I was creating charcoal through making a traditional Kiln to then create drawings based on the fauna and flora of the area local to where the wood was gathered to make the charcoal.

Me-Thanks for sharing that, I will have go using the gum arabic that way. I had a look at your cairns- I like the links you make between the place and your materials. It was interesting to see the photos of how you built the cairn- it is quite beautiful in itself. I have been having a go at making charcoal too from willow offcuts- but with a tin, some sand and a log burner- the results have been good so far, but not quite so poetic.


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