Saturday, 26 May 2012

Alkaline + Fat =............

....Soap + Water!  Just one of the few things that I remember from a past where chemistry had a place.   I love soap and hunt down gorgeous examples to luxurify my  daily ablutions.  I've even had a go at making it myself a few years back.  The reaction process in its creation is satisfyingly dramatic and is best done outside, a lesson learnt after initially filling the kitchen with noxious fumes.   And the end result was great and generally well received by my friends and family.  There was cinnamon and orange,  a heady smelling clove version and honey and oatmeal containing not insubstantial amounts of the Scot's favourite breakfast cereal.   My brother didn't like that one so much.  He complained about a relaxing bathtime spoilt by the onerous task of picking porridge out of his pubes!

Anyway.....take a look at the oriental vases above.   I'm sure you'll be amazed to discover that they're not ceramics but yep, soap.  Red Mel and I spotted them on our recent trip to Plymouth in Saltram House where they're on display as part of the Sinopticon exhibition , exploring contemporary chinoserie that is currently scattered around many venues in the city.  It includes a couple of pieces by Grayson Perry which, as you'll see if you follow the link to the website, are far raunchier than they appear at first glance.  Oh my!  Let's turn back quickly to the subject in hand.

Rarely has a piece of art provoked so much discussion between us.  How were this substantial pots made?  Were they moulded or coiled like clay?  And how was the intricate patterning achieved. I've tried to contact the artist MeeYoung Shin via Facebook to ask but alas!  She's either shy or sensitive. So, I'll just have to keep guessing.  If you want to join in my musings the exhibition runs until 7 July.

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