Material

Chicken bone

By

Made in

Animal material 63 Composite 103 Bone 6 Clay 19 Stone 2

Chicken bone
Chicken bone
Chicken bone
Chicken bone
Chicken bone
Chicken bone
Chicken bone
Chicken bone
Chicken bone
Chicken bone
Chicken bone
Chicken bone

Photos: Candyce Dryburgh

Chicken Bone China

Chicken Bone China is an innovative research and exploration project focused on the development of porcelain crafted from chicken bones.

Bone china is often considered one of the finest and most luxurious types of porcelain. It is frequently used for fine dining and special occasions due to its elegance and durability. Traditionally the material is made from a mixture of bone ash, kaolin (a type of clay), and feldspathic material. The addition of bone ash, typically derived from bovine, gives bone china its distinctive strength and translucency.

The Chicken Bone China project initially began as an exploration exercise in identifying a common, abundant waste in the local area which could be later processed into a primary resource and used to create a common everyday object. The abundant and plentiful resource discovered was chicken bones, a consequence of the abundance of fried chicken establishments in South East London. As a result, Candyce began to explore the properties of porcelain and bone china, creating her own local chicken bone china made from the local detritus.

The material development progressed only to the slip casting stage, limited by time constraints and the considerable duration required to generate sufficient material for further experimentation. Throughout this phase, an intriguing question emerged: Does our perception of an object alter when we are aware it has been fashioned from unconventional components?

Making process

The process to make the bone china using chicken bones is a lengthy process that takes 2-3 days. The bones are collected and boiled to clean off any meat that may still be on the bones. Once this is done the bones are dried in the oven at a low temperature to remove the excess moisture before firing in the kiln. Firing the bones in the kiln calcifies the bones, making them brittle enough for further processing into a fine powder by grinding them down. The bone ash is then mixed with Cornish Stone and China Clay to make a clay to work with.

Text submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank. For information about reproducing (a part of) this text, please contact the maker.

Ingredients

Bone ash, Cornwall stone, China clay

Credits

Andrew Weatherhead