A rhythm exists in the land we walk; observed through time, captured in our stories and expressed within our practices. It is a textured rhythm; tacit in our voices and embodied in our craft.
The project seeks to evoke the unseen poetics of our ways of living, questioning how we engage with the land we inhabit daily, the latent presence of the practices and processes of the past and the inevitability of a climate which harbours change. The research seeks to engage directly with the site, its people and landscape; through walking the region, informal fireside conversations with inhabitants and active participation in the stories and rituals of the land.
The project, a joint endeavour with fellow student Tom Dobbins, seeks to find new forms of collaborative practice, investigating drawn and ceramic based methodologies. As a pair, they sought to participate with the wider remit of the Wantsum, its future in a changing climate and the role communities can play through architecture to activate the land for a more engaged form of practice.
The Wantsum Common House comprises three dwellings, constructed through three unique firing processes. The dwellings are formed from mounds of materials gathered across the landscape over years, then fired over the course of a week as part of a baked in-situ process. This process transforms the material into a more valuable commodity, and the clay that is heaped over during the firing process leaves a ceramic shell left textured by the materials it’s cast around.
Thatch, timber and chalk are left latent in the clay, manifest in their tactility; cast as roofs which, centreted around hearths, form totems of a region bound for change and engaged in its much needed action.