5.004 Microscope

Earth to Table


‘Earth to Table’ explores a transitional approach to making with the landscape.

Embracing shifts between composition and decomposition; earth is collected, cast, dismantled and re-cast back into itself. The making process moves through material states from dug to stockpiled to sieved to compressed to viscous liquid to porous cast to vitrified shell. From positive to negative to positive again. Through a long, slow, and laborious manual process, the changing behaviours of soil lead the making of a perpetually degrading set of tableware.

Casting process

Stockpile Garden soil reclamation, Barking Riverside construction site

Working with soil borrowed from a construction site in Barking, East London, the bowls will contribute to a series of ecological supper clubs located on site over the coming years. Soil supports 95% global food production, thus we seek to engage with the full cycle of growth, consumption and exchange. Through eating directly from the earth that feeds our food, we bring together landscape, foot, mouth and hand. Through inviting soil to join us at the table, we connect environment with ecology with craft. And through the process of making, meeting and eating, we offer our gratitude to the land that sustains us. At the end of the dinners, the bowls will be crushed and given back to the site for invertebrates to occupy.

Like the bowls, the exhibition is conceived as a process, showcasing elements from the making process together with a working space in which the final pieces will be cast during the exhibition.

The bowls will be used together with the Story Tables (by Kirsty Badenoch) for a series of ecological dinners hosted at Stockpile Garden

Foraged and filtered earth

‘Earth to Table’ is part of Stockpile Garden, a landscape laboratory on one of the biggest construction sites in Europe. Exploring soil health and biodiversity on post-industrial sites, the garden brings together contemporary research, theory and practice in construction and ecology. The clay reclamation process is an extension of the Periscope Research project ‘Earthworks’ started in 2022.

Stockpile Garden is a collaboration between Periscope, Kirsty Badenoch, UCL Dept of Biochemical Engineering and The Bartlett School of Architecture; with support from Barking Riverside Limited and UCL Grand Challenges. To keep in touch with Stockpile Garden and its events, email rsvp@periscope.uk.

Bowls made by James Hepper with Alice Foxen (UCL) and Kirsty Badenoch

Tables made by Kirsty Badenoch with B-Made (UCL)

periscope.uk @periscope_uk

kirstybadenoch.com @kirstybadenoch

cellacollective.com @_jhep

The set of bowls slowly degrades with the falling apart of the earth