daily forward tumble

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the practice of being creative everyday

Archive for September, 2010

water is so powerful…

Monday, September 27th, 2010


…it can dissolve rock!

This is not lecture on the rock cycle or an introduction to geology.

A few of you might be following my gardening blog. I have a vegetable garden and I’ve maintained a blog about it for the last year. In it you might have read somewhere that we have extremely difficult soil here. The ground where we live is marl and as a result we have extremely dense clay rich soil. And when it’s dry it’s rock solid. I really do mean that. Its lumps are so hard, the soil at times becomes indistinguishable from the kind of rocks you would find in any soil. Except it isn’t a rock, it IS the soil.


As part of my autumn chores I am back into turning some of the vegetable beds to lighten up and dig in some compost, make the veggie beds ready for winter crop or the early spring sowing. And while doing that I decided to put aside some of the bigger lumps of this clay stuff to see if I can make something else other than grow my veggies with it.

I put the hand sized lumps into my yellow bucket and let them soak for some time. A was able to wash off some of the compost type soil that was clinging to the outside of the lumps as the water was starting to do it’s thing and soften the outside of the lumps of clay. I then sat down in the sunshine in the back yard and started to squash the lumps (John took the photo above and below). And the lumps started to break down into clay with lumps and then slowly disintegrated completely into mud (see in the bucket below).

I’ve decided to leave the mud to sit and hope for/wait for sedimentation to occur and then drain off the water from the top to see if I’ll get some usable clay in the end. There was a stage in all this mucking around where I could have started to sculpture away with the muck but there were a go few little rocks and other impurities in it so I decided to continue on and see what can be done with a bit of time and patients. At the moment it has the same consistency as the plaster you use for walls.

I would be thrilled to get some advice from any fellow creatives out there to see what can be done with this mud soup and any ideas on how to progress from here. So far it’s all “seat of the pants” or trial and error. It’s not that I can repeat m experiment, I have an entire garden full of this stuff.