For this series of pieces, Amélie gleans the earth in Maine et Loire:
"For all the pieces in this collection, the earth was gleaned around Les Rairies, half an hour from my home in Maine et Loire. Apart from the mini ristretto where the earth is darker, it was gleaned around the Fuilet which is less than an hour from my home. I find them while strolling in the forest, along the embankments, near small ponds, or in old abandoned quarries. Once gleaned, I immerse it in water and let it settle in a large container for several days. I leave the small pebbles, roots and small grasses... They can come out during cooking in the form of small craters or small random drips that I find fascinating!When the clay is well softened, I make a soup, like a slush, kneading it by hand to dilute the earth.At this point, when I knead, I remove the large pebbles if I feel them , or organic or plant elements that seem too bulky to me that could interfere with the condition. eg modelling. I crush any balls of earth that remain in a block so that it hydrates well...I do this several times...For all the pieces from this collection, I added sand to the earth. I glean on the beaches along the Loire. These are beaches a stone's throw from my house, I often walk there, they are magnificent and full of mini treasures, small fossils, flint... I love this place, it changes every season. The river floods in winter and reveals beaches in summer, their shapes are unique to each season, modeled by the water. Also for this collection you can see small orange dots on some pieces, these are small pebbles that I gleaned in the Tarn at the foot of a cliff in June during a climbing outing. I leave the sand such that, even when there are small freshwater shells, small plants. The pebbles I crush them with a pestle. This is what will partly give the small speckled asperities that we see and which mix and stand out on the enamel after cooking. I like not to clean too much the materials that I glean and add to the earth to let them express themselves during cooking and sometimes see beautiful flowing craters appear! Then I place the earth on plasterboards to dry. I wait until I get a clay with the perfect texture for modeling that is not too hard and not too soft. When the texture is good I beat it, knead it to prepare it for modeling. The enamels come from my research, for the most part: magnesian enamels, matte white, on some pieces they are enamels of ash from ceps from vines gleaned as close to my home as I burn in my stove in winter. The ash is not cleaned. I sometimes do several firings for a piece, with several layers of enamel, a first with ashes, a second with a magnesian on top, sometimes just a matt white and a casting of ashes in places..."