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May 2011 – Prometheus – the final push

May was a great month and in its second week we knew we’d cracked it. We had by any standards been a formidable pair. Having Woody along, freed me up and I focused purely on making the ampules. Woody meanwhile leant the script and scribed vertically on each ampule a free flowing alien type Minoan hieroglyphic. He glazed and fired all Raku firings, packed and supervised their safe delivery.

A kind of relief fever struck us and with more time on our hands, were freer to explore the vast Prometheus sets and witness stunning night time filming sequences set against horizons of green screen.

Woody and I left Pinewood Studios in mid May 2011. Cabin 10 moved, our covered Raku workshop demolished. In fact within a couple of days, a place where history and dreams were made was raised to the ground. Our surreal existence bulldozed and leveled and from its dust merged a new world – Snow White.
Had we ever been there and could life ever be quite the same again?!

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April 2011 – Prometheus – Sonja’s bombshell

Rob Sollis Prometheus Ampule prop production at Pinewood

When you’ve been working twelve hour days seven days a week, besides the pots you’ve made, your adrenaline levels can red line and you can find yourself paying little notice to someone telling you to double your output. I did, well at least initially. Then you realize it’s not a nightmare. That it is in fact the cold truth and what’s more it’s coming straight from the top.

“Ridley wants the same again, Rob Sollis.”

From my own experiences as a production potter and lessons learned in life generally, this was an impossible ask.
However doubling the pots crudely equated to doubling the money. The equation was obvious. I needed help. I wanted the skills of an all rounder. Someone practical and independent, multi talented and able to work uncompromisingly long hours.
Woody (Andrew Woodward) joined me at Pinewood Studios as an established artist, friend and equal. We set about meeting that deadline and doubling our output.

Firing the vast Raku kiln with sawdust reduction sleeve.

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February 2011 – Prometheus – Cabin 10 Pinewood studios

The working drawings from art director Alex Cameron. The development of my own sketch book and the very first hand thrown clay prototypes.
Ridley Scott’s brief. To make, scribe and Raku fire a three size series of ampule type ceramic urns in which are contained secrets to the evolution of our own human DNA.
Soon, Prometheus, Pinewood Studios, Ridley Scott, Sonja Klaus, the Black Horse, 007 Stage and all the infrastructure that supports the film industry were to become my world.
To survive I would need some alien DNA.