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Ditchling Residency: Travelogue 2

BURR CASKET, BY ANNA BERA (THE WHOLE ELEMENTS) © TOMEK HENKE

© TOMEK HENKE

BURR CASKET, BY ANNA BERA (THE WHOLE ELEMENTS)
FONT, BY ANNA BERA (THE WHOLE ELEMENTS) © TOMEK HENKE

© TOMEK HENKE

FONT, BY ANNA BERA (THE WHOLE ELEMENTS)
FONT (DETAIL), BY ANNA BERA (THE WHOLE ELEMENTS) © TOMEK HENKE

© TOMEK HENKE

FONT (DETAIL), BY ANNA BERA (THE WHOLE ELEMENTS)
DALDINIA CONCENTRICA FUNGI © TOMEK HENKE

© TOMEK HENKE

DALDINIA CONCENTRICA FUNGI
GREEN STAINED OAK FOUND IN THE FOREST NEAR DITCHLING © TOMEK HENKE

© TOMEK HENKE

GREEN STAINED OAK FOUND IN THE FOREST NEAR DITCHLING
RESEARCH ON “DECAY”, BY ANNA BERA (THE WHOLE ELEMENTS)  © TOMEK HENKE

© TOMEK HENKE

RESEARCH ON “DECAY”, BY ANNA BERA (THE WHOLE ELEMENTS)

15 November 2017
by Anna Bera

Decay is the title of the research project Anna Bera initiated in the second part of her design residency at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft in 2017. Here below she shares the thinking and making processes that she adopted for the crafting of two new wooden sculptures: Burr Casket and Font. 

Decay studies how those transformative processes in wood, initiated by specific type of fungi could be interpreted as a creative force (rather than destructive one). Shape, color, texture and even function of my two new wooden sculptures stem from corresponding characteristics of three fungi: Daldinia Concentrica (King Alfred’s cake), Chlorociboria Aeruginascens (green wood cup), Kretzschmariadeusta (brittle cinder) associated with three stages of oak decay: white oak, green-stained oak and bog oak.

For both sculptures chose to work specifically on cedar and oak burr, which is a wonderful type of wood malignancy. I then I used the ancient Japanese technique of cedar charring technique shousugi ban as a preserving method. When fire (or burning) is associated with wood, can be seen as destructive, however when carried out in a controlled manner, it does not damage wood, but makes it resistant to fire, rot and wood-destroying insects.