Sunday, October 14, 2012
On Becoming a Stone
I recently collected a sculpting stone while on Orkney last month. It's exactly the size, weight, and shape I have imagined working with -- oval, but not perfect, heavy, but not so much that I can't pick it up in one hand. It's just large enough for my fingers to gently curve over the top. It feels good to hold.
I've been sculpting with it each day for the last six days. One piece of washed and torn silk chiffon at a time is laid softly over the stone. The silk is then coated in matte gel medium and while the medium is still wet it gets loosely drawn upon with a graphite pencil.
The silk dries overnight and each morning I pull it off the stone. It is a fragile vessel, just stiff enough to hold a shape when sitting upon the table, but it curls gently when pinned to the wall. I now have six such vessels -- one for each day I've been working with the stone.
I suppose I could have collected dozens of stones so that I could 'produce' more sculptured pieces each day, but I've chosen to use only one. I enjoy the daily process of laying on the silk, then coating and drawing on it, and the next day slowly peeling it off.
The stone was in no hurry. Why should I be?