Following on from my last blog, today is not tomorrow which was a few days ago; and I can’t just leave sheep and write only of art. The reason? – I have discovered a most unlikely and unexpected connection between sheep and art, in the very field which the sheep currently occupy.
I first walked across that field with the sheep on 6 December when they arrived. I noticed spent cartridges, a golf ball and numerous ceramic sherds, some apparently of complete small pots, on rather than in the soil thrown up from numerous rabbit burrows. I was actually keeping a casual eye open for Mesolithic flints, since the field is merely an enclosed part of the heathland hereabouts and a possible location of early human activity. Certainly there had been recent human leisure activity. Anyway, I left this ‘archaeological evidence’ untouched, resolving to return next day with time to examine it properly in context.
This I did and, like any treasure hunter, returned home with a highly selective trove of goodies: no flints (I didn’t find any flakes or worked ones), no cartridges, no sherds, one golf ball and one complete pot. This last intrigued me, for I had never seen anything quite like it. It is cone-shaped with a rounded base, about 19 cms high and of 11 cms diameter at the rim, hollow with no visible evidence of having contained anything and – its most outstanding characteristic – hand-shaped from a single lump of clay and only lightly baked. Its crudity suggested its appearance mattered not. The object was clearly modern, indeed probably contemporary, but what it is I knew not.
Unfortunately I cannot illustrate a photograph of it since I dropped my i-Phone while delivering Xmas cards, damaged the camera lens, and have not yet been able to re-teach myself how to use the perfectly good digital camera I did all my photography on before Mr Apple came along. I must leave my reader in suspense at this point for I have been called away; but I will tantalise by saying that I now know what the cone is.