Making Ground

Making Ground is an Arts Council funded collaborative interdisciplinary project exploring site-specific making at a disused brickworks in Sussex.

Sourcing materials from this post-industrial site, basket-maker Annemarie O’Sullivan and ceramic artist Elaine Bolt are working together to:

– Carry out a pilot project through research and collaboration

– Produce a series of collaborative works

– Investigate how a continuing collaborative journey emerges

– Involve other artists/specialists to enrich the collaborative process

This research and development project is focusing on a sense of place, changing seasons, and how being closer to the source of our materials, and working together can affect our making. We’re investigating how a collaborative journey emerges and involving other artists to enrich our collaborative process.

We have raised £2000 to add to our successful Arts Council grant of £15,000 through our Kickstarter site. Thank you to all who contributed and got involved with the fundraising!

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Willow bed at Sacred Earth

Willow bed at Sacred Earth



The plan

The project is running over the course of a year (Jan 2016 – Jan 2017) and will involve various stages of research, development, collaboration, making, working with others and exhibiting the final outcomes. The project will involve:

  • making and researching on site
  • project management
  • workshops
  • mentoring
  • exhibitions and demonstrations

Woodland Utensils by Elaine Bolt

About us

Annemarie O’Sullivan is a basketmaker, working on small-scale domestic objects to large scale architectural installations. Using willow which she grows and harvests, Annemarie uses weaving and binding techniques, which have been used for hundreds of years.

Elaine Bolt is a maker working with ceramics. She completed an MA in Contemporary Craft (Ceramics) at UCA Farnham in 2012. Elaine’s current work includes hand-built ceramics combined with mixed media and found objects. She also makes hand thrown vessels in porcelain and terracotta.

Who else is involved?

We are working with Rachel Henson – an artist in the field of film and photography. She is working with us to capture and interpret the collaborative process and our interaction with the land. She is also making flick books, which will be available to purchase towards the end of the project.

Our key partners include:
Fabrica – Brighton based arts organisation
The University of Brighton – involving arts students
Sacred Earth – who manage the land at the old Horam Brickworks
Making Lewes – promoting the exchange of knowledge in the fields of Making, Architecture, Design & Sustainability


Additionally there is a core group of wonderful people already involved in harvesting the willow on the land. This project wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t for them.


To find out more about the work of Annemarie O’Sullivan and Elaine Bolt, you can watch these films made about them by film-makers R&A Collaborations.

Annemarie O’Sullivan – Bundles of Willow


Elaine Bolt Ceramics – Pursuit of Intrigue


Arts Council England Logo

2 thoughts on “Making Ground

  1. Elaine I adore your work. I am studying at UCA, Textiles MA using found objects as a resource. Have just started my Final Project using rescued lost (and found) pieces of plastic and natural objects combined. It feels comfortable to be using old bits and pieces and creating new work from it.


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