Monday, November 24, 2014

Worked turf

My friend Cathy surprised me the other day with more "show and tell" about Ireland. She recently came into possession of the 2 plaques above (TOP), and labels on the back indicate that they were handworked from Irish turf. Turf (peat) is harvested as fuel in Ireland, Scotland, England, Finland, and elsewhere. The partially decayed vegetation found in peatlands (including mires, fens, bogs, swamp forests, and moors) would – given enough time – become coal. But it can be burned long before that and is classified as a slowly renewable resource. Cathy brought me examples of turf in its dried (BOTTOM) and compressed (MIDDLE) states, the first time I had seen – in person – the material from which bog bodies emerge.

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