Fukushima Study

Andy Stoffel, was one of six Georgetown University students who created projects in response to my work there.  Andy arranged this: Graphic above left made for Fukushima Study project by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

A few months after that, Chris Griner gave me sediment from a cruise of R/V Tansei Maru that was monitoring radiation in sediment off Japan. He assured me that the mud was not “hot”.

Chris’ diagram from when he passed me the bag of sediment.

I was handling the mud and showing it to people at my studio, I needed facts about it’s radioactivity.

Best to learn more by Googling radiation chemist Ken Buesseler.  He came to speak with me about commissioning some bowls and he had his Geiger counting gizmo with him.  The following VERY CRUDE video was the first I ever tried with my then-new IPhone:

I had to laugh at myself as I opened jars and plastic bags for him to get readings when, obviously, radiation moves through both.  It’s fun being innocent together as we access each others’ expertise  (. . . . and I do like hearing a chemist speak while seeing him against a background of ocean-sediment glazed pots!)

Since I touch materials from places where Earth is creating, I’m curious about those places.  I like the following excerpt by journalist Ken Kostel from an “Oceanus” article:

“The undersea fault that ruptured on March 11 extends north-south about 500 miles, roughly parallel to the northeast coast of Japan. It is a mega-thrust fault in the Japan Trench, where the massive Pacific Plate pushes westward, and beneath, the continental Eurasian Plate. Where the two tectonic plates grind against one another, gargantuan stress builds over time in the seafloor crust. Hundreds of large and small earthquakes dot the fault each year as stress exceeds the breaking point of rocks and releases.”

New information will continually be available, searchable as “Fukushima Study”.  A Fukushima Impacts Symposium place in Japan, Nov. 2012, and another in Woods Hole, Spring 2013.

So what do I do with a new material?  I try it out.  I did two tests in one firing.  This is a small test:

Gotta Start Somewhere!

Based on those observations Ken gave me his wish list and I glazed each of these with the two materials I got from his Fukushima studies.

Here are some fired outcomes:

After firing two materials from Fukushima study. I did use a celadon, a saturated iron and a copper green glaze assembled from refined materials.

I wonder what might have happened had scientist Ken Buesseler taken his sediment samples to students in Japan to test . . . . 

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