Over the last month, I’ve been collaborating with Taylor Carlton on a project for Mat Karas’s class “In-Situ: Site-Specific Works in Ceramics”- the assignment, a “gift exchange” that engages us with the Baltimore community.
We picked a topic we were both invested in: pollution in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. It is America’s largest estuary, and one of the most polluted watersheds in the country. The Bay is so polluted, an eco-horror movie just came out about it
. We named our project the “Bay Pearls Exchange”: in exchange for a free hand-made gift, gift-recievers are asked to share a fact about the Bay and implement a positive change. Included on the packaging are facts about the economical and environmental significance of the Bay, as well as suggestions for ways to make small changes in everyday life
that may positively impact widespread efforts to renew the quality of the Bay and the life it sustains. I’ll be honest- I’m a cynic when it comes to this variety of optimistic activism, but it was a fun project to work on, and Taylor was a fantastic collaborator! She’s taught me so much, from glazing to mold-making- and I can’t thank her enough.
Using local oysters shells from Baltimore’s own Lexington Market, we made 50 porcelain slip-cast molds of the shells, which we then painted with ceramic mason stains and clear glaze. They are strung on 13” orange nylon and white cotton twine.
We will be handing them out at the Harbor tomorrow, Saturday, May 4, including sites in Harbor East and Fell’s Point. If you’d like one, come find us!