Rob Sollis at Pinewood
Prometheus Ampules: Making and Production
Here is a collection of pictures mainly of Ampule-making in the ceramic workshop. This purpose-built porta-cabin was constructed for Rob Sollis on the Prometheus film set at Pinewood studios (UK). It was here he worked alongside Ridley Scott's team making the ceramic urns seen in the Cathedral (Temple, Chamber or Pyramid) on LV223, and also stacked up in the Dereliction Room. Here you can see how the large caskets placed around the monolithic ceremonial head - were formed, stage by stage. These short videos also show quick action views of Rob throwing and Raku firing the pots on set.
Specially built for me and Woody, just next to the walls of the old 007 set at Pinewood UK, where the Prometheus filming took place.
Here I am at the wheel, throwing one of the 80 urns using durable clay. The whole Ampule was thrown in sections to create a whole closed, sealed vessel.
This hastily constructed space was needed for the Raku firing in hot ash, of the main Ampules to give them the burnished surfaces.
You can see the metal raku kiln-bins where the biscuit-fired Ampules would be heated and cooled
Here you can see how each vessel was built up in sections from rolling slabs of clay to add height as they were turned on the wheel.
The lid galleys were only cut from the top of the whole sealed vessel, at the leather hard stage.
The rims of the jars are tracked by hand - not really threaded for a lid to be screwed on, they were just an effect and the heavy lids of the pots just placed back on to fit after being sliced off the whole.
Me rolling out a new section of clay to add and build up the height of the pot, whilst turning it on the wheel.
The production line - a row of clay Ampules ready to have the next section added to build hieght.
These two drill holes in the clay had to line up on the main vessel and the top lid to ensure they fitted together just right.
Making the large size vessels.
Woody helping transfer the intricate system of glyphs on to the sides of the Ampules. The script was based on ancient Minoan symbols but our signs were coded with their own alphabet.
This is where ...
The leather hard clay version (far right), with middle: one biscuit fired; far left a complete ampule, glazed and Raku fired ready for dispatch to props.
Loving my pot!
Just thrown ampules drying outside with their lids set upside down into each empty jar, on set at Pinewood.
I'm obviously thinking about lunch!
Row of ampules/caskets after Raku firing, with the silver nitrate glaze applied, ready for the Props department.
Written by Mark Salisbury with a Foreword by Ridley Scott (Titan Books, 2012), this amazing book was produced with the full co-operation of the filmmakers and showcases breathtaking design, creative production and behind the scenes stories - and is the only official associated publication to this film. It includes more information and context about the Ampules building in the movie.