Three or four stones in one firing will all react differently. I try to achieve a balance between those that haven't progressed enough and those about to go too far.
I have worked with this red all over the world - in Japan, California, France, Britain, Australia - a vein running round the earth. It has taught me about the flow, energy and life that connects one place with another.
The difference between a theatre with and without an audience is enormous. There is a palpable, critical energy created by the presence of the audience.
As with all my work, whether it's a leaf on a rock or ice on a rock, I'm trying to get beneath the surface appearance of things. Working the surface of a stone is an attempt to understand the internal energy of the stone.
My art is an attempt to reach beyond the surface appearance. I want to see growth in wood, time in stone, nature in a city, and I do not mean its parks but a deeper understanding that a city is nature too-the ground upon which it is built, the stone with which it is made.
Some of the snowballs have a kind of animal energy. Not just because of the materials inside them, but in the way that they appear caged, captured.
Winter makes a bridge between one year and another and, in this case, one century and the next.
I soon realised that what had happened on a small scale cannot necessarily be repeated on a larger scale. The stones were so big that the amount of heat required was prohibitively expensive and wasteful.
The stones tear like flesh, rather than breaking. Although what happens is violent, it is a violence that is in stone. A tear is more unnerving than a break.
Abandoning the project was incredibly stressful after having gone through the process of building the room, installing the kiln, collecting the stones, sitting with the kiln day and night as it came to temperature, experiencing the failures.
Confrontation is something that I accept as part of the project though not its purpose.
Stones are checked every so often to see if any have split or at worst exploded. An explosion can leave debris in the elements so the firing has to be abandoned.