Dock Dung Inspired Enamelled Copper Brooch and Earrings

  • Exhibition: General Exhibition 2024
  • Description of your entry: “Dock Dung” of the Tamar Valley

    In the 19th Century the night sweepings from the streets of Plymouth were gathered together and piled up at the docks to be taken up the River Tamar by barge to be used as fertiliser for the fruit crops. All sorts of rubbish from the streets was also transported such as glass bottles and old discarded china. Local people often find bits of broken china in their gardens (that were once fruit fields); these pieces of broken china are known as ‘Dock Dung’. Intrigued by these little pieces of china I set about painting them and learning some of the patterns. These pieces are inspired by the surface pattern and strong blue of many of the shards.

    The enamel is painted, scratched and deliberately over fired to produce an obscured fragmented pattern. I enjoyed working in an experimental way being freed from the constraints of working with precious metal.
  • Dimensions (cm): brooch 5 x 4.5, earrings 4.5 x 2
  • Techniques: Liquid enamels, Painting, Sgraffito, Wet process
  • Main base material: Copper
  • Type of item: Collection
  • Name of maker: Cathy Newell Price
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