Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Face Coins!



This is an exciting and informal work I've done a couple of years now, during New Year's eve at my good friend's cabin in the woods; and I plan to continue doing this for as long as possible. It is a ritual of sorts, yielding these interesting objects we call Face Coins. Face Coins AA11 On the first day at The Cabone, outside of Everett, PA, we find the suited clay from the surrounding forest grounds. It is key that the clay is found there, and not bought at a store or brought from somewhere else. This is what gives the Face Coins a proper body. Then, for a couple of hours, the clay is tediously processed and prepared to ensure it has a basic minimum plasticity and is able to withstand the rest of the process, including an intense firing. Once the clay is prepared, we have one hand-sized ball of workable clay to play with. Each person takes a pinch or two and begins to make their own Face Coins. This is what gives the Face Coins a soul. This part of the process is open ended, allthough most of the coins (not all) have a general "faceness" to them. Then, the coins are immediately but slowly dried in the fire and thrown in to cook (a process which many potters would argue against, but I've had no problems with it). Intense fire The fire is taken to an extreme temperature and allowed to die over night. The next day, a fun ceremonial "unearthing" of the coins from the ashes is performed, and everybody contemplates the results. Ian Unearthing Face Coins Face Coins Unearthed And that is when the funnest part begins: Each person takes a coin or two of their selection, and proceeds to hide it in the surrounding premises! Star Face Coin Already after two sessions, the site is rich in these mysterious archaeological artifacts and everybody just LOVES to find an occasional Face Coin here and there. They give good luck! Special Face Coin Every coin is different and special. Some coins have firing imperfections, or natural growth or erosion; or a particular feature that makes them "collectors items", such as the one depicted above, which was affected by ceremonial Copal that was tossed into the fire. Other collectibles include (but are not limited to) "Joel's bearded Face Coin", "the first coin" "the half-face"(which was accidentally stepped on and was the first to enter the 2011 fire), and "the penis". But everybody knows what to do if you find a Face Coin (unless you really really like it), which is to hide it right back in the very land that saw its birth. art in a tree They end up under rocks, in tree holes and crevices, and who knows where else?! I found a face coin!! "I found one!!" AA11

6 comments:

  1. love.

    - james grye

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  2. that is so lovely, I get over-excited when I find a penny so goodness knows what would happen if I came across a face coin! making your own traditions is definitely the best x

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  3. Having only seen the harvesting portion of the process, I'm so happy I could read about the whole thing here! Awesome man, really awesome

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  4. Your ingenuity and imagination...amazing!! Big fan!

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