What Ceramic Casting Slip Can Tell About The Effects of Development On The Water Supply, That Our Political Leaders Won’t Say
Today there is a cloud of topics floating around in my head and I am wondering which is the starting point of this story and so I begin in the present where I am pondering how to begin.
I started writing on Medium because I have a mission to preserve my family's historical hand-crafted ceramic art and design business into the future. My motivation for doing so is simple, or at least it was in the beginning. My mission began with a love for the work process for which I am very grateful for having been given such a life but such a life also makes me an outsider and so I understand the need for places in society where the outsider finds a home. Our business has provided that to more than a few outsiders throughout its history which began in 1952.Right now the business does not have a physical form and so it has receded into its primordial beginnings where its philosophical content and meaning are its form. The material forms that the business produces can readily be created anew because the body of molds exists.
In its present incarnation our business has become a spiritual manifestation, as in the Mists of Avalon, a book I should reread to find out if it has the same metaphysical effect on me the second time around as it did the first time. I can’t adequately put into words what happened the first time I read The Mists of Avalon. The effect can only be described as occurring on another plane of reality. The Mists of Avalon is written from the perspective of a pagan culture during the days of King Author’s Court. The pagan culture is receding into the mists of civilization where it no longer has a physical manifestation and has devolved into a pure spiritual manifestation as Christianity takes root in the material world.
|Beginning with the earth Photo by francois-olwage-unsplash|
So here I am in the material world, writing beingness into being. I have my voice. How effective can a voice be in affecting events in the world of things? My hometown rulers must think a voice can be very effective since my comments in my local newspaper are frequently deleted or messed with in some other way. I described one such incident in this post. Local interference has slowed a bit since I openly comment in the newspaper about its occurrence, to which the moderator perpetually blames Disqus.
|Slip-cast ceramic sugar and creamer in hand-painted blue-green striped by Andersen Design. Photo by Mackenzie Andersen|
|The Falcon sculpted by Ian Peter Andersen in a white glaze falling over the natural brown slip. Photo by Mackenzie Andersen|
The reason that I have a special perspective on the state of the water on the Boothbay Peninsula directly relates to the fact that Andersen Design has always made its casting slip from raw materials. It was during 2016, the last summer that we occupied our old homestead when we were no longer able to mix casting slip using the local water supply, which we had been doing since 1958.
In ceramics, deflocculents are used to adjust the viscosity, and very little is needed to do so but that summer no amount of deflocculent would bring the viscosity of the slip to a measure where it could function as casting slip. It took us a while to arrive at the unprecedented thought that the cause of our problems could be the local water supply but once we tried mixing a small batch of identical materials with water from a different source, the problem was solved. The test batch of the slip made with a different water supply made a perfect casting slip.
Adams Pond and Knickerbocker Lake currently meet state water quality standards, but both are listed on Chapter 502 of the Maine Stormwater Law as “Most at Risk from New Development” and on Maine’s NPS Priority Watersheds List. Adams Pond and Knickerbocker Lake Water Shed Protection Plan published 2015
Our business was damaged in 2016 by one useless and one wreckless project. Had we had been able to stay on our former property, we may not have been able to mix ceramic casting slip for our business in the summer when the Town is on the Knickerbocker Lake water supply and the Town leaders would not care unless we sued them but it would be hard to establish the direct cause of the excessive flocculents dumped into the water supply.Two large developments in Boothbay could further stimulate Boothbay’s seasonal and year round population growth and increase development pressure on the watershed. The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, a 270-acre attraction established in 2007, located partially in the watershed, received over 100,000 visitors in 2014. The Gardens plan a doubling of facilities and estimate visitor numbers will increase to 160,000 yearly by 2024. The Boothbay Harbor Country Club, also partially located in the watershed, is undergoing a major renovation under new owner Paul Coulombe. Coulombe is investing $30 million to establish a PGA level course, new clubhouse, cottages, spa, tennis courts, swimming pools and other amenities. Development associated with these major attractions coupled with the already above average growth trend in Boothbay increases the likelihood of watershed development and the NPS threat to the Adams Pond and Knickerbocker Lake. Adams Pond and Knickerbocker Lake Water Shed Protection Plan published 2015
Originally published on Medium April 3 2p21 11:00 am