Till Death Do Us Together by Sesilia Pirttimaa
Hand building is a very bodily and physical way of working with clay. I chose hand building as the technique of my work because it is very meditative and calming to me. This way of working allows me to focus on the topic I want to address during the personal exploration.
Repetitive routine-like making of pottery creates a sense of security. In a safe environment and state of mind, it is easier to deal with challenging issues, such as the death of loved ones in this instance. I worked from home to feel secure enough for this project.
I spent several weeks building these raw clay vases. I built vases from different clay bodies and soil I had collected from the place where I would eventually take the vases to break down. The sizes of the objects and different types of clay used in this project represent the diversity of people and their life experiences. Death can come unexpectedly at any stage of life, to anybody.
Letting go of the vases I made and leaving them in nature was difficult and sensitizing for me. Some of the vases symbolize my own family and relatives. The place became sacred to me. Everyday walking to this place was important to me and it prepared me for real loss and grief. Seeing and documenting my artifact to disintegrate by nature and weather conditions was somehow releasing. Learning to let go and accept it was the major thing I learned during this project.
Materials: Finnish red clay, black clay, recycled clay
All photos: Sesilia Pirttimaa