Collector's box: GrYm's Dyke Wood



This site-specific display box, created by Atelier NL at the request of Richard Fortey, represents the material transformation of one square meter of earth from Grym’s Dyke Wood. In the hands of Atelier NL, the native earth and stone yeilded a unique array of pigments, ceramics, and glass. The excavation process clarified the history of the land, which has never been farmed. The flint-studded clay was stiff and difficult to penetrate. The flint sparked as it was crushed and ground into a fine powder. When exposed to high temperatures, the flint powder melted into white, green, and bluish glass. The tough earth, kneaded, cleaned, and dried, was exposed to a gradation of extreme temperatures. A bold array of pigments and ceramic tiles was created as a result, ranging from warm creamy brown to rich peat. In one small patch of ground in Grym’s Dyke Wood, Atelier NL found all of the resources to make a variety of paints, pigments, ceramic tiles, and glass. Atelier NL’s work at Grym’s Dyke Wood reflects humanity’s long relationship with the transformation of land. Through digging, sorting, grinding, and heating, the geological history of land merges with story of human creation.