My fingerprints in reconstituted daub
Fingerprints in daub dating back to 1400s
Fingerprints in Time 26th June 2018
At the end of my working day
I leave my fingerprints in the
mud wall. Nothing new there I hear you say! Well no, apart from the
fact that this
wall will soon be covered with lime plaster and my prints covered up
century or two.
Recycling old daub
Three days ago I broke down
damaged daub panels from the
1400’s and underneath the hairy lime plaster were the fingerprints of
daubers. I pressed my fingertips into their bold indentations, our
and pulled me back to medieval times.
Vernacular building with earth
What comes around goes
around, or so they say. I’ve been
trying to work out how I feel about treading in the footsteps of my
I learn so much from both undoing and reinstating their work and the
connections through time and space. My 21st century mind
understand and in doing so over complicates what is, and what was a
process (once you know what you’re doing).
The attraction of a derelict building
My hands smell of old
buildings. It’s a smell that used to
haunt me. In my twenties I navigated my way through the little lanes of
Suffolk from one derelict ruin to the next, and now I’m working with
aroma I took to be decay is damp daub. I find it both musty, sweet and
Many of the relics I frequented were falling down. That was their
now do I realise it was the earth walls that drew me like a magnet.
Leaving my mark
So. Today I have been
reconstituting 600 year old daub and
putting it back in the places where it had to be temporarily removed
many women do you know of mildly mature years who can say they have
Following a long line of daubers!
Before I finish for the day
the owner of the old house is
keen to show me something in the upper part of the building. I climb a
staircase and am delighted to make the acquaintance of six original
panels, fingerprints and all!
Downstairs in the same house, some 5 centuries
later my fingerprints add to the long line of village daubers.
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