Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One Million Bones

There is a national social arts program called One Million Bones which I took part in last weekend.
My son's girlfriend works at the ceramics lab at our local university and invited me to come and make a bone for this project last Saturday. Last month, she took part in laying out 50,000 bones in downtown Albuquerque.
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I went and took pictures as well.

There was a garbage can sized tub full of porcelain clay just waiting to be shaped and fired into bones. 
Here are the ingredients and utensils. Working with clay is very much like working with bread dough. First, you have to work it to take out the bubbles and air pockets, by kneading and pounding. Then, you can shape it by hand, adding water as needed to smooth the surface or by using special tools to smooth and shape it into forms.
 I really had no idea how to make a bone. Then I decided that, in a pile of one million bones, nobody is going to inspect them very closely and anyway, they won't even know that I made them. So, I went to work. It seemed to get easier as I made more and more of them.

 Here are some of the artsy folks crafting their masterpieces. The blue rag is water dampened and covering a small supply of clay to keep it from drying out as we work with it.
 Here is some more molding and forming. It's much harder than it seems like it should be, to build a bone.
 Here are some of the bones I made. I actually made 55 in all that day! 0.0055% of the total bones needed for the project- LOL!!

I know they're funny looking but hey, it's for a good cause and it was fun to do, too!
 This is the sign on the kiln room door. Crazy, huh?
 Here is one of the kilns. It's huge and very, very, very hot when in use.
Here's the inside of one of the many kilns. These are student projects. Nice stuff, huh?
 Since it was on a weekend, some people were coming in to work on their class assignments.

Almost makes me want to take up pottery making or ceramics...

If you are interested in contributing to the One Million Bones project, check out this website.

4 comments:

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Now I have that song "Dem Bones" playing in my head.

Cool bones you made. I especially like your rib bones. Did you make any ankle bones, too? ouch!

~Lisa

Susan said...

Your bones look wonderful!

I'm the project manager for One Million Bones and we're all so glad to have you as part of this project. And Elisabeth, too.

Thank you!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Thanks for having me. It was great fun and an awesome cause.

Rising Rainbow said...

Makes me sad just thinking about this. I so wish there could be real peace in the world so there wouldn't be a need for causes like this. Good for you for doing your part. Your bones look great.