After stumbling across a seam of wild clay near my parents house, I decided to forage some and experiment with throwing and firing my own pots. My interests soon turned to making my own cooking vessels, following in the footsteps of our ancestors who created their own pots and cooked in them. This direction of experimentation was driven by my interest in the intertwined history that ceramics and food share.
Below are some images of my initial forays into creating cooking pots from foraged clay.
At a similar time I had listened to a Farmerama podcast on the origins of our wheat, and read Michael Pollan's Cooked, in particular his section on bread. This had inspired me to look beyond the packet of flour I bought in the supermarket and source a more sustainable and biodiverse wheat to make my bread from, my research ultimately leading me to YQ wheat grown by Wakelyn's Agroforestry farm. YQ stands for yield and quality, and is a biodiverse strain of wheat that has numerous species in it. This acts as a natural insurance as the wheat is resistant to disease and blight as it does not all stem from the same gene pool.
Terram Panis is the coming together of these two fields of interest: creating my own cooking vessels from foraged clay, and my research into the origins of our food. I created a topographic map centred on Wakelyn's farm and, using the clay I had sourced, created a banneton to prove my dough in. Having fired the vessel, I made a loaf from the YQ wheat I had milled, and baked it, resulting in a unique loaf, stamped with the topography of from where the wheat it is made for was grown.
Below is a sequence of images that illustrates the process, of sourcing, shaping, carving, drying, firing and proving. Scroll through and click on each image for more information:
The name Terram Panis is latin for "earth bread". It is inspired by the the word terracotta, meaning "baked earth".