Edinburgh: thinking with materials, a tactile journey

Waste not, want not: a 3 day contemporary mosaic making course with Joanna Kessel, at Patriothall Gallery, Edinburgh. Posted by Jacquie

This weekend we’re working with industrial waste, exploring the materiality and meaning of the gathered objects. Much of the collected items are part of the rubble found on the beaches south of Edinburgh, a past site of coal mining and brick kilns.

This has started me thinking about the collected or gathered object particularly in regard to the next Unbuilt Studio on the beach at Landguard Point in Suffolk.

What draws our eye to an item on the strandline, why choose this object and not the one next to it? How does it feel to pick up that object and hold it in the palm of our hand, how do our fingers close around it making it ours. Is the object always friendly to our touch or can it hold hidden dangers.

The sense of touch as direct bodily contact with the natural environment is often overlooked. I wonder how I could meld this sensory appreciation with scientific knowledge to forge a deeper connection with our surroundings.

I’d already been playing with the idea of holding and studying beach finds, previously in folded paper boxes. This weekend I’ll be working with found items that sit in the palm of my hand, looking to make something that can be experienced through the sense of touch.

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