I think it all started with David Tennant’s Hamlet at Stratford, after which I read the play, then Stephen Greenblatt’s Hamlet in Purgatory (as an aside, there’s a whole chapter of it at Princeton University Press, isn’t the internet wonderful). Lots of Shakespeare’s characters are transformed after a ‘seachange’ – Hamlet himself, nearly everyone in the Tempest, Viola washed up on the beach at Illyria. More of Hamlet soon, but first, The Tempest.
I was already making pots with a worn, blue grey volcanic glaze outside their shiny interior. Pots that had been through a seachange, maybe dug up from a wreck. These really seemed to be about the same kinds of ideas.
“Full Fathom five thy father lies
Of his bones are coral made
These are pearls that were his eyes
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: ding-dong.
Hark! now I hear them, – ding-dong bell.”
You can get the texts of Shakespeare’s plays online – for exampleHamlet at the Gutenberg project.