Cornwall, UK / The abandoned mines

Fieldwork, 2011 - 2014

Curious to know about the origin and production of china, I spent about one month in Cornwall in the UK. Here, large quantities of china clay are extracted every year. During my stay I also learned about other industries besides the china industry. Cornwall played an important role in the Industrial Revolution, because of its soil being very rich in ore. Until the nineties, there were dozens of mines from which copper, tin and silver was extracted. But the prices of the materials dropped, and all mines were forced to close down. The result is a landscape that has been left with the remains of the mines. Not just the buildings, but also the piles of raw materials that have been discarded by the industry make a colorful pattern in the landscape.
Spending 4 weeks in Cornwall, first time in 2011 and a revisit in 2014, gave me hundreds of kilos of raw materials. I was able to convert these materials into a ‘Ceramic Paint’ suitable to color porcelain with.

You can find the research here. If you’re looking for the book, click here.

This project was made possible by the Creative Industries Fund NL. Photography by Xandra van der Eijk.