Cheese from Chalk

Chalk stones, cheese boards and glass domes, red enamel paint.

2020

Overview

These pieces of 'cheese' were created as a response to the conservation work being done inside the cottage at Ever Garden.

The bulk of the walls had been rendered over with cement, possibly applied at the turn of the century as a then-new replacement for lime rendering. Unfortunately, the cement does not allow the chalk-stone behind to breathe and can lead to the stone breaking down. Upon removal of the cement render, any chalk-stone that had crumbled was removed and replaced with fresh from a local quarry.

The best of the broken-down lumps were saved along with spare quarry chalk with potential art works in mind.

The finished pieces are installed now in an installation of cheese platters and domes on the marble topped dresser that was gifted to the Trickett family who lived in the cottage from the 1920s.

The Making Process

The natural surface of chalk-stone and the size of the saved pieces brought to mind a crumbly cheese such as Caerphilly or Wensleydale.

Some pieces were already close to a wedge cheese shape, but others not. With an interest in exploring mark making and forming with hand-assisted tooling, planes were initially cut with a hand-saw to form wedges or chunks. The hand saw was able to cut a sheer, smooth plane as well as one leaving exagerated striations, perhaps resembling the cutting away of a slice with a knife.

A pillar drill was used to create a sequence of holes loosely referencing the classic Swiss cheese holes in Emmental. A long, slow process as too much pressure at once can cause the piece to shatter.

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